Arivu Samsthe, Mysuru – An “Educational Paradise”: Benjamin Elias Staudenmaier, Germany – Regular Teaching Project

Arivu Samsthe, Mysuru – An “Educational Paradise”: Benjamin Elias Staudenmaier, Germany – Regular Teaching Project

On 27th of January 2018, Arivu School celebrated its 10th anniversary. As a volunteer in this school, I was right in the middle of all preparations.

Ben - Feb 2018 (12)

Let me first clarify, that Arivu School is an educational “paradise” compared to other Indian schools. The children learn based on activities and without any pressure. Therefore, the school atmosphere is very calm, friendly and very good to learn! Those attributes also apply to the teachers, which is why I could get involved relative easily.

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After I discovered that some teachers and parents sing together in the morning, I ask them if I could join this group as I am interested in music. Although I can´t write and read Kannada, one teacher was directly willing to write all the song texts in English! After overcoming the language barrier, the singing became an amazing part of my school life. I already sang in Germany, but the way of singing in India is totally different and very interesting – learning Kannada offers more opportunities and makes me enjoy e.g. the singing more and more!

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When the preparations for the celebration started, I was asked if I would be interested to participate in a Punjabi dance. I agreed because the dance is even special for Indians and I want to try as many new things as possible.

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Practising the traditional dance was sometimes exhausting, but it was always nice to do so in this group. In the dance, I had to play the role of an angry landlord, who forces his workers to work. Being angry was seriously difficult for me (for real! ;), but I didn´t give up and could manage it in the end.

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Finally, learning Kannada also gave me the chance to act in the Kannada Drama “Bhagavadh Ajjukeeyam” directed by Jeevan Kumar Heggodu as Manthravadi Shishya (assistant to a wizard)!

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That was probably the most awesome and time-consuming activity. I never acted in a drama yet, and I have enormous respect for professional actors after seeing and experiencing how difficult the interaction can be and how long it takes to reach a certain level! It was great to see this development and to have insight into backstage “life”.

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We first performed the drama on 26th of January in the Jagana Mohana Palace, then on 27th on the occasion of “Arivu Habba” and on 3rd of February, in the Mandekolu Government High School in Sulia.

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Overall, I participated in 3 different activities at Arivu Habba: singing with the school choir, dancing in a Punjabi dance and acting in the drama “Bhagavadh Ajjukeevam”. The evening was great, but because I was completely occupied, it was sometimes stressful for me, too. For e.g. I had to run to the make-up for the dance directly after finishing the singing and change the make-up after the dance again to be ready for the drama!

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However, the feedback of the children in the following week was phenomenal: “It was superb!”, “I was excited to see you participating in 3 events!”, “You dance very well!”, “I liked your drama role and your Kannada dialogues!”

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When you read this, you will probably think that doing all this was very easy and a lot of fun. Well, let me tell you then, that you are responsible for yourself and you can do anything that you want to do if you are motivated enough and willing to achieve something.

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I learned many lessons during my stay; “Arivu Habba” is just one example proving that practicing and working hard is the only way to succeed! I surely like everything that I do, but I can´t deny the fact that making a difference is sometimes extremely difficult and exhausting!

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You might wonder why I am still trying to do as many things as possible…personally, I am highly motivated when people start appreciating my encouragement. Luckily, that is what is happening right now! Connected to the drama, I even found myself in the newspaper! That proves that giving one self’s best is very important and worth more than any possible difficulties!

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I hope that this article could encourage you as well!

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