Chandigarh, Sept. 29, 2010; The second full day of the International Youth Peace Festival started off with an Indian immersion experience at local schools.
Young delegates from the U.S., Nepal, China, Burma, Australia, Kazakistan, Spain, Bhutan and other countries joined Chandigarh students in their classes at Saupins School, Dev Samaj College, Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 16, and other local locations like SGGS College and The Gurukul, Panchkula.
Through bhangra dancing, discussions and lessons, the visitors had an inside look at Indian schools and exchanged cultural information.
Back at GGD SD. College, Indian students were busy in two art workshops — one, led by Mr. Ravinder Sharma, used scraps of magazines and newspapers to make collages concerning issues of peace and the environment. The other workshop, led by a World Comics India, taught students to sketch comics that ranged from humorous to issue-based.
As students were busy with their creative sides, a smaller group of students joined Don McAvinchey, an American Gandhi and social worker, and Mr. Anurag John, a Bangalore-based environmentalist, in a conversation with Pakistani students who were recently denied visa to take part in the Peace Fest. Through the internet chatting program Skype, the students at SD College connected in a video conference with a peace organization in Lahore, Pakistan. Speaking about terrorism, culture, similarities, and differences, the students determined that the mental barriers need to be broken down to achieve peace between India and Pakistan.
The Skype chat was fruitful — ideas about sending a petition to the government, as well as creating “pen-pal” like friendships, were discussed to encourage students visits between the two tense countries.
During chai and pakora breaks, delegates talked about what they learned, and mingled with delegates from other countries.
A newly launched Chandigarh-Colombo forum followed at 11 am, where Sri Lankan youth and Chandigarh youth exchanged ideas for creating a strong bond. The students are looking to develop a lasting relationship that will set the stage for future educational exchanges.
Later in the evening, a group of French musicians from a French island in the Indian Ocean presented a colorful performance at NITTTR in Sector 26. With drums, dancing and funky rhythms, the performance had people ready to dance and sing.
Another succesful day at the festival brought students from 20 different countries closer together, and foreshadowed peaceful relations for future international correspondence.