Let’s do a quick exercise. Am sure you like biscuits. Don’t you? Normally, it should not take more than a minute to eat a biscuit, right? For a change, we’ll eat the same single biscuit taking 5 minutes. Remember, you lose if you finish eating before that. Now the countdown starts..... 5,4,3,2,1...
Are you through? Did you notice a change in your thought process? What’s the change you FELT eating the single biscuit over 5 minutes when normally we eat the same biscuit quickly? Do share. Well, when I did this exercise for the first time, I was astonished. I started remembering and thanking the wheat growers, the baker, the company folks who mass produce them to the folks in supermarket or petty shops who market them! Normally what we do? We simply eat fast to fulfill our hunger pangs, right?
Well, today is one such thanksgiving day! It’s the Harvest festival celebrated across India. In some other name, it’s celebrated across the world during their harvest season. Should we not spend atleast 5 minutes remembering and thanking the nameless souls who toil hard in the fields in order to give food for us?
Well, glad to reproduce an award-winning speech made by my 2nd biological daughter Shivani Chander, Class IX on how festivals promotes national integration. It sums up the mood of the day and very rightly Indians can sport a little pride, having born in this great land!
My dear friends, respected Judges,
“India is, the cradle of the human race,
The birthplace of human speech,
The mother of history,
The grandmother of legend,
AND the great-grandmother of festivals and tradition”
remarked Mark Twain.
Festivals are an important part of our life. Celebrating festivals reflects one’s culture and heritage and it’s a way of preserving them. By such get-togethers people get to know each other’s culture very much. It’s even a sort of refreshing our life with pleasure from the monotonous everyday life.
Festivals are important for the integration of our nation and to retain our culture for the next generations. During functions we are offering sweets and wishes to everyone because to make strong relationship with our neighbourhoods. Festivals bring us cheers and joy amidst the din of the competitive world. Offerings to god, prayer, helping the poor on those occasions give us satisfaction, isn’t it?
Friends, festivals have become the part and parcel of our normal life in India. They reflect our culture and traditions. They make us to live together in peace and harmony and keep us united amidst the diverse nature of society where there is a multitude of languages, religions, castes and traditions.
Festivals are meant to rejoice ourselves over a period of lot of hard work. Festivals spread a message of brotherhood, goodness and morality.
Festivals are mood elevators; they bring happiness and enthusiasm in life.
While looking at the Indian Festival Calendar we notice that most of the festivals have a theme that runs across the length and breadth of this great nation. Is there any other nation in world where amidst such diversity people living in harmony? It is Festivals that dons the prima donna role fostering national integration amidst this ‘Great Indian Diversity’.
Diwali brings about a feeling of integration among various sects of the society. Today, it is celebrated as ‘Festival of Lights’ across the globe where the lights signify victory of good over the evil within every human being. It is spreading to all parts of the world. I’m sure you witnessed President Obama celebrating Diwali!
From the lanes of Mathura and Vrindavan, the colours of Holi have spread all over the country. These colours also carry a message of love, brotherhood, and truth. So whenever you splash Holi colours on somebody, you give him a promise of being truthful towards him always, maintain brotherhood with him lifelong and shower him with all the possible love throughout your life – be it a Chennaiite or a Kolkatan, a Christian or a Mohamedan.
Teachers Day – Teacher’s day is not just a day for fun and change of roles. It is also a day to remember how much of hard work and time goes in, before a teacher, from any part of the nation, walks into that classroom and teaches you that chapter.
Well, the cultural festivals are not to be left behind. Film festivals and cultural events also unite the people of India. During the month of Margazhi, don’t we see people from all over the world, congregate at Thiruvaiyaru for the Music festival? If this is not a tool for national integration, what else is? Or the National film festival, Khujarao Dance Festivals, numerous cultural festivals that we witness.
Isn’t it a quite a sight seeing girls tying Rakhis to boys and men? Doesn’t it spread brotherliness? Is there a festival like Rakhi festival anywhere in the world?
And, our national days like Independence day and Republic Day are celebrated across Mother India with reverence. Isn’t it?
The ship that never fails is friendship! Doesn’t Friendship Day spread cheer and brotherhood, across Mother Earth?
Haven’t you observed our own school Anniversary celebrations nay Annual festival? Most of them have themes that run the length and breadth of this great land. Don’t those annual festivals of PSBB spread a message of national integration? If not, tell me what else would?
Friends, we know that apart from uniting people across India, festivals also propel economic activity, the vital cog in the wheel of LIFE.
On the contrary, well, can we all, for a moment, imagine a life without these festivals? Life would indeed be dull and monotonous without the colour, gaiety and laughter, isn’t it? It would be meaningless without the caring and sharing. And, a divided India. Like Europe or South America. Do we want that?
I’d like to end with a quote of Rabindranath Tagore:
“You are invited to the festival of this world and your life is blessed.”
Well, my dear Shivani, festivals does foster not only national integration but also international integration as the people are the same across Mother Earth.
On behalf of all of you, allow me to wish all the nameless souls on Mother Earth who toil hard in the fields or just anyone in the ‘food cycle’,a healthy life! You know, lot of them suffer, going without food, ONLY to feed us! What an irony!