Sunday, 21 January 2018

Celebrations at Gubbachi

- Team Gubbachi 
All of us at Gubbachi love celebrations. We did not realize it till we started having zesty, joyous celebrations. It all started casually with, “what are we doing this Diwali?”. Just some sweets and formal/fancy clothes is definitely not what we wanted. We painted diyas with the children, talked about Diwali, it’s cultural and religious significance and how it is celebrated in different parts of the country. We identified sameness in the celebrations and reasons for the differences. Along with the children, team Gubbachi learnt something more about each other. We were thrilled. We were also thrilled that a regular conversation with Anand Sweets converted them to pledging sweets for all our children in the bridge centre and the two Government Schools. We loved the way people from unlikely quarters came together to light up the lives of our children.
We have written about our Children’s Day in an earlier post. We are absolutely proud of our team and our volunteers’ team, which ensured a fantastic Children’s Day for all of us. The joy on children’s faces far exceeded our expectations. We were overwhelmed by the support from the donors. That is when we were convinced that celebrations at Gubbachi would always be an open event - an event with the larger community.
This got further strengthened when the team suggested we celebrate Christmas. This time with a Christmas tree and gifts for every one of our children. We again put out our intentions. Neighbours and neighbours of former neighbours pitched in for Christmas trees for the two centers/schools and goodies. Teachers brainstormed eco-friendly Christmas decorations. Young teenagers decided to spend a night baking 141 cupcakes. As she did for Children’s day, Marzia pitched in again along with her friends. The children visited St. Anthony’s Church next door to see the Nativity Scene and Christmas decorations. Teachers spoke about Christmas and ensured that children shared their thoughts and experiences of Christmas. Our neighbourhood carol singers taught us carols in Kannada and English. John and Bindu responded to our call for donation for books as Christmas gifts for our children. We diligently chose the titles that were reading-level appropriate and every child in a group got a unique book. Pratham generously gave us discounts ensuring that all children got a book. Since our government school children had gone off on their Christmas vacations we deferred book distribution to Sankranthi.
With the start of the New Year we started working towards Sankranthi celebrations. All the adults learnt a little bit more about how we individually celebrate Sankranthi . We rejoiced at our sameness and differences. We heard about Sankranthi stories or lack of them from our children at circle time. We shared the cultural significance of Sankranthi in India. The children learnt harvest songs and dances, and drew about Sankranthi celebrations. We ear-marked Jan 12th for the big celebration. We applied cow-dung paste in readiness for rangoli, the neighbourhood cow was generously decorated, earthern pots were painted and given a festive look, an open wood fire was built for boiling-over the milk and making Pongal and children flew kites. We called it a day with boiled sweet potatoes, peanuts and avarekai bean pods, revadi and elu bella. Again, this was planned and anchored by members of the team – each taking charge of different aspects, yet seamlessly working together to make it joyful.
Learning and celebrating and celebrating for learning are an integral part of our days!
These are the events and moments when Gubbachi’s culture within the team gets strengthened. These are also occasions to know each other at a deeper level.

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