Lourdes

Peace, path, prayer. Three things that one can obtain when visiting a religious place, going on a pilgrimage or during sacred festivals. We had the chance to see this beautiful church in a town called Lourdes in France as a family during the summer of 2015.

 

The church walls and stairs carrying its history and us up to the top. Not a word said, not a sound made, in awe, we admire the beautiful paintings and interior of the building. Confused as to whether I should stand and admire the moment or capture the memory to look back to. Later, realising that the moment was special compared to see the picture, as such a moment can not be encapsulated. I can not describe that moment even to you through my words, the atmosphere, emotion, and setting were so calm.

 

Climbing up the hill as a family as we stop at each point, we read the story and explained it to one another. Learning about another religion felt a lot different in the actual context rather than within four walls opposite you teacher lecturing you. The surrounding was so peaceful, with nothing to distract you from your prayer and communication with God. The amazement was never ending and the place seemed as big as a town as we discovered more.

 

Everyday, we took the same path to the church, but every time we reacted the same way we had the first time saw it. Every person on the narrow streets acknowledged one another with a smile or a greeting- something that is quite foreign in London. We are all so busy in London, late for the bus or train or worrying, sometimes when spontaneously someone smiles or greets me on the road it makes me happy and appreciative. So, a note from this journey- acknowledging your surrounding and someone can simply make things happier.

-Thoughts by Shiha

School Cultural Festival

School Cultural Festival:

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The flags and traditional clothes covering the green field with colours.

We are a multi-ethnic society, a day to celebrate this was the culture fest at Woodend Park Academy.

Children dressed in their traditional clothes, filled the green field with splashes of colours. Laughter from children, as they see their parents and family meet them to share this day. The kids are excited to show their school and friends to their parents with a huge smile across their innocent faces.

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My blue cotton candy!
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His candyfloss and drink

The air was sweetened by the smell of the blue cloud-like candyfloss and caramelised popcorn. Children hopping around in the queue waiting impatiently…well I guess I am still a kid at heart, as I am equally as excited to get hold of the blue candy floss.

Mother searched for a place with shade and found the perfect spot, where my brother opened our picnic blanket excited to see what treats we bought. He held the opaque container wanting to find out what we made for him, he took a peak into the container and looked up at us with a cheeky smile.Yep…we cooked one of their favourite-Vegetable fried rice and chicken, this was cooked by me,mother and my big sister. Of course that was the only moment that he would sit down. Once he finished his food; he was ready to digest it by playing a game of football with his friends, surprise surprise.

Now, my little sister had already followed mother around the house, reminding her that she wanted to get henna done. As, soon as she finished performing recorders with her friends, she ran towards us and hugged us- “Mum, can I get my henna done now?”- as if we would forget after the amount of times she’s told mother. On the other hand my big sister, standing in front of a table of vibrant variety of cupcakes placed in small boxes; glancing back and forth at me and the table confused as to what to choose.

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Home Time

Home time- overlapping each other as they discuss the events that occurred that day,then racing one another to the house like we all did with our siblings once. Followed by me, mother and my big sister, feeling satisfied and relieved to see and know they had a good time.

Enjoy every moment, nothing beats the feeling of seeing your loved ones happy, like these two little monkeys.

-Thoughts by Shiha…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chariot Festival- திருவிழா

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One chariot, one day, one religion,
a day we all, as Hindus unite as one to celebrate. Bells of the chariot, prayers of men and women pulling the rope;
are in sync with the rhythm of the melum and nathaswaram. The sun beaming on women bearing paal koodam over their head. Bangles, sarees, anklets, flowers, veshti, chatter, laughter; all creating an ocean of sound and colour.

People surrounded in awe, feeling the energy from the beat and atmosphere, celebrating in happiness as they pray and thank God.

It is a time when families come together and pray and celebrate together, they dress in their traditionalattire. Women have beautifully draped their saree wearing matching jewellery, jasmine flowers placed on their hair and perfectly finishing the attire with a pottu (bindi) with thirunuru, manjal and kunkumam above. Men wrapped their veshti (dohti) (now this just might just be a challenge to some) wearing a complimenting coloured cotton shirt, thirunuru on their forehead.

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The ther thiruvizha is a celebration that many do not miss out on, people will travel to this celebration. Families hugging and embracing their relatives, asking about their well being, either family’s faces enlightening with joy. Well, the kids…their face becomes puzzled, as they are pretty clueless as to who they are: trying to recall if they know them but politely answering the questions and smiling 🙂WhatsApp Image 2017-07-11 at 14.52.20

Aside from all this, you also have the men shouting “vazhi vidungoo” telling us to move out of the way, its understandable but, having to move around is kind of difficult with women having to lift their sarees and move, not to mention the kid’s pushchairs. By the time they do this we would get pushed around and have our toes trod on.

The atmosphere is hard to explain, it is calm and peaceful when hearing the bells of the chariot tingle as the priest says the mantras. At the same time you have the melum and nathaswara filling the air with the beat and the chatter of the people all making it so lively and happy.

This is the Chariot Festival.

-Thoughts by Shiha…

I am Bored

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“I am bored”. Probably the most said phrase in my life, or maybe after “I am tired”. The only time I, or most of you, miss being bored is when revising for exams.We have a bit of a love hate relationship with boredom don’t we? I wasted time during revision, either by complaining or a making a bucket list of what I wanted to do once my exams are over, as a result, blaming insufficient revision time given- to explain my grades to my parents. When exams are over, I choose to do nothing, I sit there with that bucket over my head, bored out of my mind not knowing what to do with my life :/

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This summer was also going to be the same, but this time it is 4 months of nothing to do. Every time I tell mother that I am bored she tells me to do house chores, like most mums,  so we can’t even complain out loud to them, why because we would rather be bored than do house chores 😂

Yes, and like everyone I have typed “I am bored” on google -I hope- many of the typical things were said: spend time with friends, find a temporary job, volunteer, explore and start an adventure etc. Now doing this just might be difficult with Tamil parents or at least my parents, e.g. I would have to sit there and explain that I am bored and want to volunteer or find a job- mother will reply “Why? You can volunteer here at home and do the house chores”…so yeah that won’t work. Meeting friends…I’m sure I don’t have to explain that category just the word curfew will explain everything. Otherwise the response would be “what about your siblings, play with them”.  Questioning how this is similar or the same to going out to see my friends- “you can do some house chores for time pass instead then”. So, I am back to square one, left with no choice, but to be bored. So yhh I am pretty much stuck at home for the time being, but there was one thing I knew I wanted to do that would not require an explanation, well I hope- SinthanaiShiha

Rather than complaining all day of being bored, I took that bucket off my head and wanted to complete one goal on the list and start this blog, unlike usual, where I try fitting in my “summer goals” in the last week and plan it all out to then find out that I have school the next day. Then drag myself there and once again complain about what I could do in life if I didn’t have to be in school,yep, it is a vicious circle.

Well it’s up to you, “explore and start an adventure” to those who can, trust me there are many out here who would love to do that. To the few out there like me, turn that “wasted time” of creating the bucket list during revision, into something meaningful which will  get rid of your boredom this summer…or *chop chop* get busy with the house chores!😆

– Thoughts by Shiha…

Introduction

Just a Tamil girl in a family of seven (and yes, we are five annoying kids) figuring her life out. My parents are from Sri Lanka, but I was born in Germany!…hmm probably not much of a surprise anymore right, as this is usually the reaction now “why are most Tamils from Germany?!”. I just about completed my first year at University studying Forensic Psychology and now I have 4 months of nothing to do so ; SinthanaiShiha- Thoughts by Shiha…