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Auroville Village Action Group

Earth Day – Unity Day

 

Last year on Earth Day the apprentices at Svaram [go to www.svaram.org ] Musical Instrument training centre participated with their music. This year they thought, “Let's ask the Youth Centre kids to join with us, and we can celebrate Earth Day together!”

So, on Earth Day morning they pedalled up to Youth Centre, with bullocks pulling along the two catta vendis (traditional wooden wheeled bullock cart) filled with leaves and Palmyra fruit, and tea makings, and lots of natural earthy materials for decorating themselves and others.

Turmeric powder for splendid yellow, red soil from the Auroville canyons, neem leaves and mango leaves, roots and branches, jute cloth and bare backs. About 14 Svaram apprentices and half a dozen Aurovilian youth painted themselves with “native” designs, drawing on the Tamil traditions for temple festivals and their own international creativity. Then they formed a parade of bullock carts, mobile tea-stall, dancing and prancing minstrels and camp followers decked out in leaf skirts, root jewellery and mud make-up and moved noisily and happily towards the Solar Kitchen to join the other schools and participants at Auroville's Earth Day.

Not wanting to only celebrate, they took the opportunity to apply their young strength to remodelling the traffic triangle – raising it and adding a mosaic of stones and cactus plants to give a green culture to the utilitarian creation. The Youth Camp made tea over coals and gave away vadai s as their contribution, and there were plenty of nungo s, the juicy and refreshing fruit of the palmyra tree.

They met their “eco-challenge” in the parking lot of the Solar Kitchen. On Earth Day it was asked that everyone in Auroville use bicycle only – but so many motorbikes were there! So with the same colourful earth ingredients they'd used to decorate their bodies,

 

they slapped a muddy handprint on each of the seat covers… Most people were chagrined and laughed, only one made a fuss and they cleaned up his seat for him.

 

They reckon that Earth Day was a great time for Aurovilians and villagers to get together sharing the things that mean a lot to them: nature, fun, care for the environment, and giving. They're sorry Aurovilians still used motorbikes even on this one day – what are the villagers supposed to emulate as we move toward a new planet?

If you would like a short home video about the day, Balu has made some CDs, write him at mohanam@auroville.org.in .

 

See also:
Earth Day 2006 photo gallery and
Celebrating Earth Day !

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