The first continent we visited for a week of culture was South America. We learnt about Dia de los Muertos and how Mexicans celebrate the lives of their ancestors with a very special day each year in November. We created our own dance, composed a piece of music, sewed felt skulls and created a ‘bigger than me’ skeleton. We were very pleased with the outcomes and in particular very proud of our felt skulls; most of us learnt how to sew a blanket stitch and used glyphs to personalise our skulls.
The second continent we visited for a day of culture was Asia. On Monday we visited a Hare Krishna Temple, the home of former Beatle George Harrison, which he bequeathed to the Hindu community. Our day included a ride on a cart, pulled by oxen, to the dairy farm (Gokul farm) where we learnt about the cow’s sacred status. The cow is so highly valued because it gives so much; its milk is used to make cream, cheese, yoghurt and ghee, its waste is used to make fertiliser, paper and even soap and its urine has medicinal purposes. After learning all about the cow we then went inside and defrosted!
We learnt about different Hindu gods and some of us dressed as gods and goddesses. We all got the chance to wear a sari or a chadda and turban and in our appropriate attire, we sat and observed an arati ceremony at the main shrine. This was followed by a delicious vegetarian lunch which was mostly very well received and lots of second helpings were dished out. Finally, we had our faces painted as Hindus would for festivals and celebrations before heading back to school. A great day out despite the cold weather.