India Day – a glorious celebration of India’s culture
As part of Downe House’s Global Initiatives, there is an annual International Day organised by the Higher Education and Global Initiatives Department and this year, the theme was India.
The day was filled with a wonderful blend of history, dance, yoga and sports workshops to give our girls and boys from Cothill House a glimpse into the culture of this exotic nation.
Head Global Ambassadors, Cookie and Tabonga who are in the Lower Sixth Form have kindly written a report on India Day.
“We were delighted to welcome Mr Dinesh Patnaik, the Deputy High Commissioner of India to inaugurate the day with a special video message. This was followed by our first keynote address from Mr Rob Lynes, the Regional Director of the British Council and a former Downe House parent. His talk was very informative and gave us an insight into the evolution of India from its early stages as a British colony to the wonderfully diverse and progressive country it is today.
The students were then entertained with an upbeat folk dance by the Asian Bhangra Dance group. This set the mood for the rest of the day, as the performance was enthralling and had all the students and staff dancing along.
A combination of Downe House staff and guests conducted workshops throughout the day including a Yoga class, Indo British Ties and also the popular Bollywood Dancing session and Kwik Cricket. The highlight of the day was the sumptuous Indian lunch prepared by our Catering Staff. The Main Dining Room was decorated in shades of orange, green and white to celebrate the day. We had a wide selection of Indian cuisine, including the traditional Saag Aloo, Tarka Dal and Melon Rasayana for dessert.
We were fortunate to have two girls that are currently part of the Downe House Global School Exchange Programme with us on the day. Asees and Ananya from Mayo College for Girls in India were kind enough to perform a dance number they had prepared for us to enjoy. It was fascinating and we were grateful that they shared a piece of their culture with us.
To conclude, we were delighted to have a closing address given by Baroness Flather, JP DL FRSA of Windsor and Maidenhead. She talked about her journey to becoming the first Asian peer in the House of Lords and the contrast between the British and Indian cultures. It was a truly inspiring speech and one we are sure will be remembered.
Overall, it was a fabulous day as summarised by Remove girl, Fara who said “India Day was great fun and we learned lots of things about India; it was very well organised and that made it a very successful day.”
We would like to thank all the guest speakers and session leaders for taking time out of their busy schedules to come to Downe. We would also like to thank the Cothill House boys for sharing this rich experience with our Remove girls. Lastly, a massive thanks goes to Director of Higher Education and Global Initiatives, Ms Akhtar and her team for organising such a wonderful event.”