Vidyarambham: Hundreds of kids in Kerala enter world of letters

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Hundreds of children in Kerala today entered the world of letters by performing the 'Vidyarambham' ceremony on the occasion of Vijaya Dasami, marking the finale of the Navaratri festival.

Cutting across religious, caste and class barriers, children in large numbers underwent the ritual at places of worship, cultural centres and media houses across the state.

Clad in new clothes, children sat in front of well-lit 'Nilavilakku' and elders and wrote the auspicious letters ‘Hari..Sree...’ with gold rings on their tongues. They were then made to write letters with their fingers in rice filled brass platters.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy led the ceremony at the Vailoppalli Smkrithi Bhavan in the city, where the function was organised by the Desiya Balatharangam.

There was a heavy rush in Devi temples across the state, where special arrangements were made for the ritual.

Jnanpith laureate M. T. Vasudevan Nair led the ceremony at Thunchan Parambu in Tirur in Malappuram district, the hallowed birthplace of medieval Bhakti poet, Thunchathu Ezhuthachan, revered as the father of Malayalam literature.

Essentially a Hindu custom, Vidyarambham has assumed a secular dimension over the years with many Christians and Muslims initiating their children on the auspicious day.

According to sociologists, the occasion has for long been held solemn by people in Kerala, a pioneer in total literacy and universal education and whose biggest asset is its educated human resources.
The ceremony was also performed in art schools and classical academies, where budding singers and dancers had their maiden performance invoking the blessings of Goddess Saraswathi.


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