Raj Iyer and Shailee Bhat
ST LOUIS: Center for Indian Cultural Education- Bal Vihar of St. Louis celebrated India’s 75th Republic Day with great enthusiasm on January 28, 2024 at Hindu temple community Center, St. Louis, Missouri, new facility for Bal Vihar.
This event was in the presence of over 500 participants,guests and dignitaries from diverse backgrounds including the members of Bach Society of St. Louis, MO, leading medical and legal Professionals from the community and the representative from the local news media.
The students from 5 and 15 years ofage showcased the themes – “Festivals of India” and Evolution of Science & Technology in India through ages as part of the celebration. It was an amazing presentation by the students on Indian Festivals including Diwali, Holi, Navaratri and more. It was a splendid display of India’s various festivals, how they are celebrated and history behind the festivals, along with science and technology advancements in India.
The special guests interacted with the students and enjoyed learning about the research that they had done for the extensive illustrations. Post closed door judging by the dignitaries, the students spent time at each booth to learn about India’s heritage, festivals, technology advancements among other things. Students and guests were excited to see traditionally decorated booths with colorful pictures and food samples.
After the booth visits by all, hoisting of the United States and India’s flag took place. Bal Vihar orchestra ensemble led by Tarini Karnati, Shreyas Iyer and Aryan Singh played the Indian national anthem and other patriotic songs on musical instruments. Afterwards, Kindergarten and first grade students dressed up as deities walked through the stage introducing the character they represented. The first graders also sang the Indian National Anthem. Bal Vihar teachers and volunteers made sure the event was a big success.
Dr. Sudhir Brahmbhatt, President of the cultural school delivered a speech on the significance of India’s Republic Day. Bal Vihar students honored the specials guests for the event that included Dr. Kirti Mehrotra, Vikram Mehrotra, Linda Lee and Carol Commerford, Dr. Vijaya Ramani, Dr. Chandrakant Tailor, Arun Tailor, Dr. Vijay Buddhiraju, Sharad Rao, Paritosh Sheth.
Bal Vihar of St. Louis, is a non-profit organization, with current enrollment of 325 + students. Since its inception in 1992 it has been serving the Metro St. Louis Indian community. The primary focus of this organization is to provide Indian cultural education to students age 5-18, its application and integration with the global multicultural and multifaceted society. They are also taught discipline, tolerance, and devotion in their daily routine. The ultimate goal is “to throw the light of cultural knowledge on every child, to make every child an outstanding citizen and to spread the song of peace and harmony around the world.”