Indian pupils stage celebration of learning at Townley Grammar
PUBLISHED: 09:05 10 May 2016 | UPDATED: 15:25 10 May 2016
The event included yoga, traditional dancing and talks on education
More than 200 local Indian residents gathered at Townley Grammar School in Bexleyheath on Sunday (May 8) to mark the beginning of exam season with a celebration of knowledge and the arts.
Children put on a display of advanced yoga and a traditional Bharat Natyam dance performance, while one of the school’s students talked about his academic experiences and the symbolism of Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning.
MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford David Evennett attended the event and highlighted the importance of continuous learning in his own role.
The school was presented with a carved statue of Sarasvati by organisers Soor Seva and Satsang, a charity, as symbol of a shared belief in the transforming power of knowledge.
Event organiser Dr Mukund Mehta said: “This was Soor Seva and Satsang’s sixth event in Bexley, and already a large and growing number of residents are participating and providing positive feedback.
“The weekly children’s moral values classes that we hold at Townley Grammar School are also very popular. All of this is encouraging for community building.”
Secretary Maniv Pathak commented: “The Indian population does quite well academically and that does come from a culture or tradition of putting a strong emphasis on education at a family level
“We are trying to put down links with the broader community so we can build on some of our success and spread them more widely.
“Saraswati symbolises the ancient aspect of education. It is a metaphor for education and shows that knowledge is so important that it is worthy of worship.”
The organisation is about a year old and aims to establish a community centre and place of worship in Bexley for the Indian population, which they hope will promote integration.
“By not having a community centre already, we do not have a place to go for advice and help and language skills. It would help the broader Indian Community integrate better,” Mr Pathak added.
Soor Seva and Satsang will be hosting an informal evening of bhajans (devotional songs) at the school on Sunday, June 19 from 5pm.