Festive Season

We are now into our second month of Bal Vihar school year 2013-14. With increased registration this year, we are also experiencing lot of enthusiasm that new families are bringing to the fold. On September 22 we held a meeting for the parents where key admin staff presented Bal Vihar plans for this year and future. This year, each focused committee (Education, Events, Operations and Website) setup a table to inform parents about what they do and encourage signup. We are thrilled to see so many of you registering to volunteer.

 End-August/September usually marks the beginning of Festivities for Indians. Festive season during this school year began with Rakshabandhan highlighting the importance of relationship and caring for each other. There is a deeper message imbibed in history that emphasize certain relationships don’t have boundaries of families. Festive season continues with Krishna Janmashtami signifying the victory of Good over Evil. Janmashtami is followed by Ganesh Chaturthi celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesha, considered to be the remover of all obstacles and hence every puja and prayer begin with invoking him. Ganesha symbolizes the importance of following directions and be the protector at all cost. Another major festivity in September was Onam – a harvest festival with mythological significance. Onam is one of the major festivals in the state of Kerala commemorating Vamana Avatar and homecoming of Mahabali.

 September was also an exciting month for Bal Vihar as we finalized the agreement with Hindu Temple on the plans for the new cultural center. Legal formalities on the agreement are likely to be completed soon. For parents who have been with Bal Vihar for a few years, this agreement gets us close to the vision of having a permanent home. It is expected that the new facility will be ready for use by Bal Vihar starting 2016-17 school year. The new facility will have 14 classrooms and a bigger multi-cultural center for our events. The location for our proposed school will be on the empty land next to the temple. Hindu temple is looking to the community for raising necessary funds to expedite the construction and completion. It is an opportunity for Bal Vihar families and community at large to come together is contributing to the vision for the next generation. More information on contribution and pledge is available at www.hindutemplestlouis.org.

 Bal Vihar is actively supporting the fund-raising efforts of the Hindu Temple. During the fund-raising event held by the temple on September 28, Bal Vihar students led the show. One of our newer students demonstrated her Indian Classical dance talent. That was followed by our now famous – “Yoga and Bhajan Fusion”. One group or boys and girls sang Hanuman Chalisa while another set of boys and girls performed Yoga. Both Bal Vihar performances received raving accolades from the audiences. 

 Bal Vihar is next gearing up for the first major event of the year – “Family Night”. Family night will be held on October 19th at Mahatma Gandhi Center. Come and test your skills or learn the basics of “Dandiya” and enjoy our very popular Bingo event while enjoying good food and company of other Bal Vihar parents.

 Center for Indian Cultural Education – a.k.a. Bal Vihar of St. Louis, a non-profit organization, since its inception in 1992 has been serving the Metro St. Louis Indian community. The primary focus of this organization is to provide Indian cultural education to students age 5-18, its application and integration with the global multicultural and multifaceted society. Over last 20+ years Bal Vihar has helped groom a breed of multi-cultural global leaders of next generation that have been shaped by the best of the cultures from east and west. These youngsters understand the need and value of the cultural values that have been instilled in them through the rigorous program. Students are also taught discipline, tolerance and devotion in their daily routine. The ultimate goal is "to throw the light of cultural knowledge on every child, to make every child an outstanding citizen and to spread the song of peace and harmony around the world."