Some more art from Bhaktapur
Truly, the students who receive art class via the foundation never seem to get bored. In the midst of difficult classes like English language, mathematics, and the complex grammar of their own language, Nepali, the kids always welcome the time they have to nurture their creative side and improve their skills.
Nepal has a very unique and beautiful culture. We, in America, are likely to think of Nepalis under one umbrella: that of their nation. But Nepalis are also divided into a number of ethnic groups such as Chhetri, Newar, Tamang, Thami, Limbu, and many others. Bhaktapur, where we hired the first art teacher, is a city of traditional Newar artisans. For may hundreds of years Newars have been renowned for their skills in woodcarving and pottery. Newar people make up roughly 10% of Nepalis, but they are concentrated in the Kathmandu Valley, or Bhaktapur area. In that city, it is not uncommon to find older people who do not even speak the national language, Nepali, but only their native tongue Newari.
So as it happens, a large number of students at the Bhaktapur school are Newari. There is usually no animosity between ethnic groups (only intermarriage is taboo), so the students of other backgrounds were also motivated in making the latest drawing for a recent art competition held at the school.
In this drawing, you can see some of the characteristics of Newar people:
On the girl:
Red and black cloth tied in folds
shirt called 'choli'
'mala' or gold necklace
tika (red mark on forehead that represents the third eye)
golden chumka (earrings)
and ornaments in the hair.
The boy wears Newar traditional dress as well: a vest, pants, and 'topi' hat. You'll notice he also has a flower in his hair. Traditionally, for all Hindus, flowers are placed on the head after worship. Newari men, more often than girls, can be seen with poinsettias peaking out under their caps.
March 4th, 2012
Healing Historic Harms
The Foundation previously donated its time and resources to supporting a community workshop in Sussex County called Healing Historic Harms. This, and other workshops led by Latino activist Charito Calvachi-Mateyko, bring together a small of individuals, usually from vastly different backgrounds.
Over a 1-3 day period, these individuals bond and attempt to overcome their cultural prejudices by connecting with one another and sharing stories. The Foundation has once again contributed to this intense and powerful workshop in Delaware by providing food and funds necessary to facilitate the program.
The small groups involved in the workshop learn about restorative justice, a ideology that views justice as something more than just crime and punishment, and inevitably leave with a greater understanding of others and inspiration to do good. By contributing to this healing program, the Foundation hopes to spread good will an understanding throughout the world.
February 15th, 2012
Niños de Ecuador
On February 6th, Amy and Holly returned from a three week trip to Ecuador where they brought art supplies, educational games, and their teaching expertise to Segundo Miguel Salazar Primary School on behalf of the Foundation. Third Graders at Segundo Miguel Salazar show off their "god's eyes", an art project from Mexico.
The Foundation donated art supplies including yarn, scissors, paper, and other craft materials as well as Math 24 cards and bilingual children's books to this small school in Machachi, Ecuador. Read more under the Education
December 22nd, 2011
Photos from Nepal
Since August, the foundation has been funding an art teacher at Samata Shiksaya Niketan in Nepal. In addition to overseeing the art teacher and providing much-necessary cultural perspective on the Shana Kala program, Ram Krishna has recently sent us some beautiful photos of the children and their artwork, including their recycled paper house project:
To learn about how Shana Kala was started, and to see photos, visit the Shana Kala page under the Art