সুচনা উত্সব (Suchana Utsav 2011)

Settling in Tagore’s land, Rahul and Kirsty quickly realized that the reality of Santiniketan’s school system was far from the Poet’s ideals. Memorizing false memories, brain-stuffing to derail wandering imaginations, corporal châtiments to straighten minds and bodies… They had other expectations regarding the education of their three much-to-smart, much-to-knowledge-craving and much-to-WILD anglo-bengali children.



“It contradicts nature’s purpose, and nature, the greatest of all teachers, is thwarted at every step by the human teacher who believes in machine-made lessons rather than life lessons, so that the growth of the child’s mind is not only injured, but forcibly spoiled.  Children should be surrounded with the things of nature which have their own educational value. Their minds should be allowed to stumble upon and be surprised at everything that happens in today’s life; the new tomorrow will stimulate their attention with new facts of life”, Rabindranath Tagore.



Thus, as Rabindranath Tagore did a century before them, the started their own home-school. Soon, a few electrons libres from the neighbouring santal village started to attend those once-a-week sessions of extra-scholars activities. That’s how began… Suchana.



The “Early Learning Group” was created and came to welcome 180 children and around 15 teachers.



The focus is put on basic literacy and numeracy, as well as skills in music, art & craft, sports and local languages, Santali, Kora, Bengali and English. A few years ago Suchana was endowed with an open library, adapted to the children’s usages and a health program was initiated along the educational one.



Just a few days after the last Saraswati’s icone was drowned on one of the local ponds putting an end to the incessant beat that accompanied the loudest Pooja of all, Suchana’s own kermesse is held. Display of the kids’ work: puppets, drawings, papier-mâché, pottery, post-cards, weaving and so on.





Songs, dances and short dramas in each language.






An intriguing magic show driving the public either bouche-bée silent or laughing à gorge déployée









And, the clou du spectacle, the apotheose: Gymnastics! For a public averti only. 15 min minutes of non-stopping jumps, runs, saltos, human-pyramides and again saltos and pirouettes.



Both boys and girls with perfect equilibrium, no fear, no hesitation, doped on adrenaline and, again, the heavy beat of a Bengali festival. Kora, Santali, Bengali or English heads, arms, legs rolling, flying around.



Luminous and blurry souvenirs.















4 Responses to “সুচনা উত্সব (Suchana Utsav 2011)”

  1. 1 Rahul
    10/04/2011 at 10:37

    Hi Marie, thank you very much. Lovely pictures and brilliant commentary!

  2. 2 Kishore
    10/04/2011 at 16:42

    Absolutely Wonderful.

  3. 3 Angela
    14/04/2011 at 20:26

    This is amazing Rahul… you have captured the spirit of the homeschool and Suchana, together!

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