"We just have to learn.."
- Anandamayi in conversation with Emmanuelle
Anandamayi was born
in Auroville, attended Kindergarten, Transition, Mirramukhi, then
Last School, where, being today 20 years old, she is still studying
part time. In 1998, for the first time, she went out of India
and stayed in the US for 7 months, studying in a high school.
At present, she teaches
singing to the youngest class in Kindergarten (2-3 year olds),
is learning archeology with Poppo, sings with the Auroville choir
and is involved in theatre.
"The biggest challenge
of growing up in Auroville comes mostly from the fact that we
have so much freedom here, and so we have to be a lot more disciplined
to be able to do something constructive. It asks for a lot more
to study in Auroville than it does anywhere else, where you have
a fixed programme. It is much easier out there, I think. Here
it's really about self-imposed discipline, at least in Last School,
and that's one of the reasons I stayed there. Here I get to study
the subjects that interest me.
"Having a diploma
doesn't interest me.. In the fields I'm interested in - singing,
theatre (I've been greatly influenced by my parents, who are both
artists) and archeology - I don't think I need a diploma in order
to manage out in the wider world, if I ever have to.
"A lot people are of the opinion that people like us who
have grown up in Auroville have to leave, to see Auroville from
a different perspective. It may be true. It's interesting to see
all these young people coming back. Perhaps they needed to go
out to have another experience and maybe they had to go through
that but I didn't. I didn't feel the need to get out of Auroville.
Somebody offered me the experience and I took it, but I already
knew how special Auroville was without having to go out.
"I think education
is one of the main reasons why many of the young people leave:
there is no university level education in Auroville. Maybe we
have to work towards a higher education program here. Already,
with Super School, and Kireet Joshi's talks on philosophy, things
are changing. But everything here takes time.. I am happy doing
part-time studies, I don't plan to stop studying in order to work,
I think I will continue to do both.
"I think there
are many opportunities to learn different things in Auroville,
that is why I'm still around. I think I still have a lot to learn
from people here in the fields of theatre, singing and archaeology.
I don't know, maybe it's just easier for me. A lot of young people
say that here they are bored. I am here and I haven't had the
chance to be bored, I find so much to do. I think they don't have
the same interests and training for a lot of what they are interested
in is not available here.
"People say Auroville
at present is not much different from anywhere else in the world
- I feel a lot of the Auroville experience, the work being done
here, is on the individual level, so all the progress is inner.
In some ways, what we're doing here is not different from what's
happening anywhere else in the world, but the whole idea is still
different - the fact that people have come to Auroville because
something is different, and they want to try it out, participate.
We've gone through tough, shaky times, there are a lot of problems,
even at present there are conflicts between Aurovilians, or problems
with the Government, but we'll go through it, because it's meant
to be. It's a passage - it all happens for us to move forward
faster. Any society has its ups and downs. We're not so much different,
we just have to learn..