Learning Utsav – A new Beginning

The story of Learning Utsav at Aarohi started with one thought “What if at one place, on the same day, there are lots and lots of people … children, young adults, parents, senior citizens … all with different gifts, coming together to create the magic of co-learning. Learning Utsav, where anyone can teach, anyone can learn … a day to experience the joy of learning, sharing, exploring, mingling… Celebrating learning without any boundaries of age, caste, gender or status”.
Inspiration and confidence come from LSUC (Learning Society Unconference). We didn’t want to lead this event, so we invited others – Asawari, part of Aarohi and Khoji from Swaraj, herself a self-directed learner, took this initiative. For her learning is something beyond boundaries, a dream of a society where we can go beyond discrimination, beyond division and simply celebrate each day and live. Soon few more parents (much elder to her) and some more young adults joined her team. This was not only breaking the boundaries of social status but also the ages. So beautifully all the adults accepted much younger Asawari as their leader. They gave her complete support and stood by her till the end. Hailstorm just before night tested all our limits and we sailed smilingly. Not to forget Aarohi kids who listened to each of Asawari’s request, instructions, commands and stayed with her till the end with all their compassion and limitations.
Pre-preparation was mind-boggling – two full days on a sewing machine to stitch banner, one week on making the map, artistically designed tags, non-stop work on shelters, cleaning of groudns, follow up with vendors,…the list is endless but worth remembering. The last moment involvement of more parents and many Aarohi kids was amazing. Kids tried their best to explain to each participant and also helped who needed translation.
People from all walks of life came together to experience open learning. Kids and parents from nearby villages walked in with ease to experience, at the same time kids and parents from cities walked in. Session by a 12 yr old boy on how to maintin cycle, session on undretsaing needs of elecronics was thought provoking, session by few kids on dance was enetrtaining, a tecaher from school opposite our campus on personality dveleopmnet brought a new perspectice, story telling by a homeschooler was fun, informal music jam, journey with tree and tree stories by a tree lover, teaching, Hoolhoop by a 6yrs old, a walk to explore “can a camus teach?”, discussion on open learning, paper flowers, quilling, jewelry making with rags, wire puzzles, traditional board games, tree walk, Origami, sports and writing a murder plot! different session by different ages brought learning to many of us in different forms.
Food was arranged by calling nearby village vendors. initially, there was hesitation, but soon there was acceptance of the coming to the campus – cool watermelon, delicious Paddu, spicy lemon rice and unlimited vada with some coconut water and coconut salad with banana. Initially, there was hesitation, soon it disappeared. Initial thoughts were “impossible, very difficult to get vendors from the village” and trying and different ideas and doing led to it happening.
We not only had fun and joy, we also had hiccups and difficulties – Hailstorm just before night tested all our limits. It was all well planned, the entry of village kids brought a huge surprise element for all of us. And that’s where our learning started. Although the resources were mishandled initially, soon the situation was under control. Kids responded the same but the entire team made peace with what was happening. Some Aarohi kids were hugely upset with sports cabin invasion. But they too made peace.
We see a beautiful concept emerging of celebrating leaning beyond social status, ages, gender, and subjects.
Asawari’s Journey – https://asawarimathur.blogspot.in/2018/04/organizing-learning-utsav.html?showComment=1523707406412#c5024124636930029060