The Saraswathy Pooja was celebrated at St. John’s College on 17.10.2015 from 9:00 a.m. in the Peto Memorial Hall. Dr. Mr. Suganthini Sri Muralitharan, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Hindu Civilisation, University of Jaffna was the Chief Guest of the function.
The events of the day began with the Panchapuraanam and Sakalakalaa Valli Maali (religious song and pooja).
After the Chief Guest lit the traditional oil lamp, the President of the Hindu Union, S.Kajaluckshan extended a cordial welcome to the Chief Guest, Principal, Vice Principal, Sectional Heads, teachers and students from our school and neighbouring schools in his Welcome Address.
A group song by the students of grade 7,8 & 9.
Following this was a speech entitled, ‘The Way Navarathiri Fast should be Observed’ by Mas. J. Omshiyam Sankar, a student of grade 5. Fasting in Navratri follows a practice of cleansing, and purifying one’s body and soul, which is believed to result in blessing a person with virtue.
During fasting in Navratri, only fruits, milk, potato and other root vegetables are traditionally eaten.
Next was a ‘Neem’ dance by the students of grade 8 & 9.
Following this was another group song – this time by the students from grade 10 upwards. After the song, T.Sukirthan of UPVIC talked about religious values. In his speech, he noted the following:
- Religion today and yesterday are different. In days of yore, people worshipped stones as Gods. Now Gods are looked at like stones
- Today, people think of divine worship as a burden because of the hectic life they lead.
- It is important to observe festivals to keep the fire burning in the religion.
- Festivals unite people. They teach the masses patience, peace and love (one to another and even towards animals).
Next was the much awaited distribution of prizes. More than 130 students who won places in the Hindu Knowledge Test, Sakalakalaa Valli Maali competition, Kola Chiththarippu competition and Poomaalai Kattuthal competition, walked up the stage to receive their certificates from the Chief Guest.
Next was a drama based on Srimad Valmiki Ramayana, an epic poem of India which narrates the journey of virtue to annihilate vice.
Following the drama, the Chief Guest was honoured by being garlanded.
Then she began to speak into the microphone. She talked about the following:
- First word a child utters is ‘mother.
- Motherhood is very important.
- It is important to worship our mother goddesses.
- Leadership skills can be honed by observing Navarathiri.
- It is unbelievable that a Christian institution like St. John’s College should allow Saraswathy Pooja to be observed at school.
- Though the head of this institution is a Christian, he has organized this function and been supportive of all the competitions and programmes.
- Students performances were applaudable. She thanked the teachers of music and dance by name.
- Students of St. John’s are clean, cooperative and disciplined.
- To study at St. John’s one should have done a lot of good deeds in one’s previous life.
- Thanked the teachers and students who took part in all the programmes.
The function ended with the Vote of Thanks proposed by the Secretary of the Hindu Union, T.Senthuran.