Despite mosquitoes, UK students love Kerala - The New Indian Express

Despite mosquitoes, UK students love Kerala

Published: 08th November 2012 01:32 PM

Last Updated: 08th November 2012 01:32 PM

‘Everywhere we go, people want to know who we are, where we are from, we are from Kerala, mighty mighty Kerala,’ sang the English students as  their counterparts at Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Girinagar, joined them.  

A team of 24 students, aged between 15 to 17, and four teachers from Tunbridge Wells Grammar School, Kent, are on a three-week visit to the school as part of the programme of educational and cultural exchange (PEACE).

Ironing out the differences in culture and milieu, the students are enjoying themselves to the hilt despite the warm weather and mosquito bites.

“This is amazing. People are warm and friendly and generous with their time. We went to Kanyakumari, Kovalam, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Thommankuthu, Fort Kochi and other places and got to see life in myriad hues. We enjoyed boating in the backwaters and experienced the traditional Ayurvedic massage. We got to see a lot about the culture during our visits to museums and palaces,” said the

students and teachers at a press conference on Wednesday.

The group said they felt that tradition and religious practices were embedded in the way of life here. Each student and teacher got to stay with  their counterparts in their host school and experience the way of life in Kerala.“Parents are more protective of their wards here,” they said. “We relished the cuisine, especially the masala dosa, chicken manchurian and tender coconut,” they said. The students, including four boys, wore the traditional Kerala attire on the Kerala Day and tasted sadhya on plantain leaf. “Here there are so many occasions to dress up in traditional costumes,” they said.

The students have to contribute for the trip. A part of it is sponsored by the school. Next year, students from Bhavan’s will visit UK. The exchange programme has been going on since 1995. “This is our first visit to India and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We were treated like the saying ‘guests are gods’,” they said. The team will be leaving for UK on Friday.

A Tryst with Singapore It was a day of fun and excitement for the students of Darul-uloom School, Pullepaddy, who played host to the primary students of Telok Kurau from Singapore on Wednesday and Thursday as part of the Overseas Values in Action (OVIA) programme.

As many as 30 students and seven teachers from Telok Kurau interacted with the students.

This is for the first time that they are visiting India after having visited countries like Vietnam. “We chose this school because it is the perfect setting for showing the students how different our methods of teaching are. We make use of technology and other non-conventional methods which is a  far-cry from the way education is imparted here,” said Asraf, a faculty member of the team from Singapore.

“The culturally interactive programme is beneficial to both parties as there is a mutual exchange of understanding cultures and values,” said Basheer M B, Principal, Darul-Uloom.

“We are getting to learn a lot. The culture we are experiencing is completely different from that of Singapore,” said Adline and Evan, students from Telok Kurau. 

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