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FESTIVAL OF ANTHROPOSOPHY -2023

Updated: Feb 1

THE VELS ACADEMY


FESTIVAL OF ANTHROPOSOPHY -2023


Vol.1 | December, 2023



In our group photo, witness the individuals embodying the principles of collaboration, creativity, and interconnectedness. Just like the industrious bees in a hive, we came together, each bringing unique strengths and talents that enriched our collective journey.


What is inside?



What is Anthroposophy?

Anthroposophy is a philosophy and spiritual movement founded by Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century. It encompasses a holistic approach to understanding the human experience, seeking to integrate spiritual insight with practical aspects of life. The term itself translates to "wisdom of the human being" and embodies a comprehensive exploration of human existence, aiming to cultivate a deeper understanding of oneself and the world.


At its core, Anthroposophy encourages individuals to engage with various aspects of life, such as education, art, agriculture, medicine, and spirituality, through a lens of interconnectedness and spiritual development. It emphasizes the importance of self-discovery, personal growth, and a harmonious relationship between the spiritual and physical realms. Anthroposophy as a path of development has, in all its sections of activity in common, a new way of thinking that is being developed; an organic living thinking which involves the activity of the Heart, as a new organ of perception. The annual Festival of Anthroposophy intended to celebrate exactly this: the enlivening of the chakra of the Heart.





Cultural Treat by TVA Team

The TVA Team organized a captivating cultural event, and the air was filled with lively beats and stories of Erode's rich history. Our teachers took the lead with boundless excitement, leading us through the remarkable and storied legacy of Erode.


Erode's History through Villupaatu

Our talented students astounded everyone with their remarkable performances, showcasing the essence of Erode's culture. From the graceful moves of Oyilaattam and the rhythmic swings of Silambaatam to the mesmerizing Mayilaatam and the vibrant display of Kavadi, every act was a testament to our rich heritage. Villupaatu, often referred to as Villadichampaatu, is a traditional musical storytelling technique practiced in the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala as well as in northeastern Sri Lanka. Here is a glimpse of our teachers painting vivid imagery by narrating tales of valor and tradition that transported us to an era steeped in glory and heritage.



Student Showcase

Our talented students astounded everyone with their remarkable performances, showcasing the essence of Erode's culture. From the graceful moves of Oyilaattam and the rhythmic swings of Silambaatam to the mesmerizing Mayilaatam and the vibrant display of Kavadi, every act was a testament to our rich heritage.


The students captivated the audience with their beautiful melodies while vividly portraying legacy with every note they sang. Their performance invited everyone to participate in the Tamil culture by fusing the past and present.

The opening event united us in appreciation of the cultural treasures that bind us together as a community.


The echoes of the soulful tunes lingered long after the event, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of everyone present. Through these captivating performances, we celebrated not just dance and music but the very soul of Erode itself.




Cultural Performances by Grade Teachers

Our Grade Teachers treated us to a beautiful Bharathanatyam performance, which is the classical dance form of Tamil Nadu.




The teachers performed a rendition of "Yaathum Oorey Yaavarum Kelir," a timeless poem written by the renowned Tamil poet Kaniyan Pungundranar, as a tribute to the legacy of Tamil literature and music.




KG Teachers’ Vibrant Pillaitamil Play


The play beautifully depicted various facets of child development through Pillaitamil literature, highlighting the nurturing stages of a child's life cycle. The portrayal skillfully captured the essence of seasons such as Kappu, Sengirai, Thalattu, and more, each representing distinct emotions and behavioral nuances associated with childhood.



Under Ms. Gayathri's guidance, the kindergarten teachers’ performance beautifully elucidated the moods of motherhood, childhood innocence, and the vibrant energy of young girls, resonating with the multifaceted aspects of child psychology and behaviour.



Kalai Thaai's Traditional Tamil Folk Dance Session




The folk dance session hosted by the esteemed Kalai Thaai collective was coulourful and engaging.



Enchanted by the contagious beats, the crowd enthusiastically embraced the elegant moves, with the guidance of the collective’s members, which brought back memories of times gone by. The air was charged with palpable electric energy as both young and elderly danced to the rhythms, capturing the essence of the treasured ancient dances.

This immersive experience left an indelible mark on all those present, demonstrating the art’s ability to bridge generations.


The Human Heart- Ego, Perception and Destiny

(Association for Holistic Biography Work)


Ms. Sangita Kamath received her training as a certified coach and trainer for biography work from Karl Heinz Finke of Holistic Biography Work (Australia). She has about a decade of experience working in this space.



In her talk, she emphasized the profound concept of spiritual awakening through daily practices. The main idea was that contemporary initiation is found inside the fabric of daily life rather than in isolation from society, drawing inspiration from the seminal work "The Man on the Threshold" by Bernard Lievegoed.



Her talk expertly navigated the path towards spiritual enlightenment. She discussed the importance of everyday rituals and how they act as catalysts for the growth of the human spirit and personal transformation. The focus on actively participating in activities such as contemplation, karma exercises, and the study of Goethean plants struck a deep chord, highlighting their critical role in promoting both self-discovery and a strong spiritual connection.


Mr. Vishnu Manoharan’s Talk on ‘The Life of Bees’



Mr. Vishnu Manoharan, who has an in-depth awareness of the complex world of bees, set out to break down the way of life of bees for the audience.



He went into great detail about the fascinating life of bees, revealing the intricate dynamics within their colonies as well as the complicated nature of their family structures. His explanation of the different kinds of bees and their developmental stages—from conception to maturity—left the audience spellbound and painted a vivid picture of their evolutionary path.


‘Art Therapy through Colours’ by Dr Wahida Murthy



Dr. Wahida Murthy revealed in her speech the importance of art as the link between the human heart and the cosmic heart. She said, "Art is the language by which the cosmic heart speaks to the human heart; cosmic knowledge can come down to the human heart through art."



Participants were encouraged to participate and observe the healing potential of color in balancing the journey of the soul. As Dr. Wahida so eloquently put it, "We can stabilize our soul life with colors," highlighting the deep influence of colors on our inner equilibrium.


A particularly poignant moment arose when Dr. Wahida demonstrated how individuals, not naturally attuned to certain colors or temperaments, found themselves immersed in those groups during the demonstration. This immersion required them to step into another color and temperament temporarily, compelling them to live within it for a brief yet transformative period.


Strengthening The Heart

(ASI Medical Stream)



Dr Sangita Sohi is an executive member of the Anthroposophic Medical Society India chapter. Her speech reiterated not just the biological significance of heart, but also its role as an organ of perception, sacrifice, destiny and future.


Walking is a key strategy for achieving optimal heart health, according to Dr. Sohi, who also revealed the ability of walking to affect our future by nourishing our hearts.


For those looking for empirical evidence, Dr. Sohi's talk serves as a lighthouse, presenting medical teachings as indisputable evidence of enlightenment. Her moving revelation that neglecting the heart causes distress was enlightening and proved the link between heart health and compassion. A startling reminder became apparent: the quality of compassion is not innate but rather the result of purposeful effort.


Dr. Sohi's insights provided a deep comprehension. Her speech was an effective reminder of how important it is to take time seriously in order to maintain our genuine presence. She explained to the audience how a discrepancy between a person's actions and their cosmic inspiration might have an impact on the organ.


Dr. Sangeeta Sohi's talk was a beacon of holistic well-being, embodying the essence of heart-conscious life and providing essential insights for thriving. We were urged to listen to our inner voice more.


Sven Saar's Insightful Talk on ‘Education as a Source of Strength’

Mr Sven Saar was a Waldorf class teacher for 30 years and is a director of the WALDORF MODERN TEACHER EDUCATION UK. During his thought-provoking presentation, "Children should not tire at school," Saar stressed the need to have a curriculum that is well-designed to keep kids engaged and energetic throughout their learning sessions.


He fervently promoted a balance between input and output in a child's educational journey by using the analogy of breathing in and breathing out. His theory centered on the notion that, when carefully designed and executed, a curriculum ought to revitalize pupils instead of draining them. Children return home energized and eager for new experiences when they find a balance between the demands of education and creative exploration opportunities.


He also explored the importance of curriculum design and implementation, emphasizing how a holistic approach may have a significant impact on a child's learning process. He envisioned a learning environment that not only reflects knowledge but also ignites young learners' excitement and eagerness by stressing a well-rounded education that integrates multiple disciplines, encourages experiential learning, and nurtures unique abilities.


The core premise of Saar's discussion is that students are more likely to succeed academically, emotionally, and socially when they are enrolled in a curriculum that matches their interests and talents. Students consequently get a lifechanging educational experience as a result of which they depart the school grounds inspired and eager to continue learning. Teachers and policymakers in the audience were inspired to reevaluate and revitalize conventional methods of education by Sven Saar's persuasive ideas.


Workshops in a Glimpse

“Let’s Enliven Our Hearts through Puppets” — Waldorf Kindergarten Workshop

In this interactive workshop, participants created unique puppets, fostering creativity and artistic expression





“Meeting Earth, Our Hive, in the Lore of the Land through Music and Movement” — Waldorf Primary Workshop

Participants immersed themselves in a transformative experience, intertwining music, movement and Waldorf principles





“Thinking Through the Heart” — Waldorf Upper School Workshop

A fascinating glycerine experiment shed light on the differentiation between oxygenated and deoxygenated blood, ingeniously connecting it to the intricate functioning of the heart.






“Joy of Singing” — Music Workshop by Melody D’Souza

Vocal and rhythm exercises were taught to the participants. Additionally, they engaged in group singing and were taught to focus on both their own voice and the voices of the others while singing.





“Are We Moving or Are We Being Moved” — Eurythmy Workshop

Participants experienced the blend of movement and rhythm that engaged mind, body and spirit. The workshop was an inclusive space that accommodated new teachers, special friends, and others.






“Open Your Heart for Colours” — Art Therapy Workshop by Dr Wahida Murthy

The harmonious combination of the vivid paint strokes, the fluidity of movement, and the creative spirit in the air produced an atmosphere that seemed like a haven for healing.





“Way ofthe Heart: The Middle Path” — Art Therapy Workshop by Augustine Thilak

The workshop carved its own space for introspection, growth, and self-expression through art.




“Crafting Palm Connections in the Human Beehive ” — Palm Leaf Weaving Workshop

Participants were exposed to the basics of how palm leaves, which are abundant, may be made into everyday objects and explored more creatively.





“Honey Bees - Descendants of Nature to Learn Life Lessons” by Mr Vishnu Manoharan

This workshop introduced the participants to beekeeping basics such as hive splitting, swarm control, and hive maintenance.




“The Buzzing of the Bees “ — Curative Education Workshop

The workshop provided an overview of care attitudes, sensory integration, the importance of rhythm in wellness, social games, syndromes and disorders, and temperaments as an education tool.





“Harmony with Nature “ — Biodynamic Farming Workshop

The fundamentals of biodynamic farming were taught on biodynamic farms using practical demonstrations.




“Presence Play” — Youth Section Workshop




Morning Activity

Chanting

The activity explored the diverse range of chanting traditions.



Bothmer Gymnastics

Jumping rhythms, wooden stave work with balances, footwork and throwing rhythms, roundelays, and movement sequences were explored.





Biodynamic Farming

The activity intended to bring Biodynamics into daily farming and gardening practice.



Tea with Six

Under the leadership of Ms Francis Aradhya, Tea with Six became the festival's poignant focal point. What started off as a tea-sharing ritual evolved into a safe space where connections were made, hearts were opened, and healing pervaded the very essence of the gathering. Through the question "What shadows your heart?" a deep, poignant exploration ensued, creating an atmosphere of spiritual cleansing and communal healing.

Ms. Shabdapriya's hexagon artwork perfectly captured the spirit of this life-changing experience. Its intricate pattern represented the togetherness and synergy experienced during the tea break.



Contributions by Eurythmy India


With graceful movements and profound artistic expression, Sathya, a professional eurythmist, brought forth a mesmerizing depiction of the creation and life of a butterfly through the captivating art form of Eurythmy.



Witnessing the synchronized movements of the members of Eurythmy India was an exceptional sight, emphasizing the power of unity in motion. What ensued afterward was nothing short of a complete and fulfilling journey.


Artistic Presentation on “Classroom Reflecting Life-Healing when the Human Beehive is Disrupted” by Waldorf Primary Section

"What is the right way to live?"

"If we separate ourselves from the external abominations of violence, does it make us non-violent?"

The questions the artistic presentation began with, nudged the audience to think deeper and more consciously.

Sarah Ahmed's (feminist scholar) philosophy, 'killjoy' declares that whenever a person points out something problematic, they allow themselves to become the problem. Hence, only the courageous asked the pertinent questions. Ms. Anandhi led the Waldorf Primary Section, which had the guts to defy expectations and look for an explanation of the Waldorf curriculum in order to improve it and inculcate the spirit in everyone.



Parzival’s Play

Under Ms. Francis Aradhya's guidance, Friends of Camphill India staged the Parzival Play, which represented the "inner jihad" or "inner Kurukshetra" of every individual seeking transformation.




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