local culture Archives | Educate for Life

Mandwa government school snow day

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It is a great regret of my life that I never had a day off school because the school was closed due to adverse weather. Snow, rain, wind; nothing exciting enough happened to let me have a ‘snow day’. So it’s interesting to see that on this balmy January day, it must be about 20 degrees, that the government schools are closed because ‘a lot of winter is coming’ ie it’s too cold for the children! To be fair the rooms do get pretty chilly at night and the concrete takes a long time to heat up (conversely, in the summer the rooms heat up and don’t cool down, that’s why our rooms are mud because it has better thermal properties) so it can be uncomfortable to spend long times inside, and there is of course no central heating.

Cultural impressions

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Walking around doing my interviews today I came across this:

It is an abandoned layout of a house made in small stone and pebbles by a child. It got me thinking about how we learn and what is culturally impressed in us from a young age. This layout would be accurate for more than 80% of houses in the village: a central front opening that leads into a first room, that leads through another central opening into a closed back room. It pretty amazing how a child has noticed and repeated this. It won’t have been conscious though, it’s just a repetition of what already is. Creating out future from the effect of our past experiences. What do we unwittingly recreate in our lives, thinking it is something we have decided to do, which is actually unwittingly moulded in us by society?


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Yesterday was Uttarayan, the kite flying festival, which we celebrated at Hunar Ghar with our annual kite making and flying, and a few sweet treats to eat. I love Uttarayan, the idea of literally millions of people all taking the day off to go and fly little paper kites is quite charming.

I’ve been back at Hunar Ghar for a couple of days now. The first I was very tired and disorientated, but now I’ve found my Hunar Ghar legs again and have been enjoying spending time with the teachers, children and other members of the team there.