Siddhartha School Project

Morning Assembly at Siddhartha School by scottcronenweth
March 10, 2010, 5:29 pm
Filed under: School News | Tags: , ,

Each day at Siddhartha School begins with morning assembly. The entire student body and also many faculty and staff participate. The school does not have an assembly hall so everything takes place outside, in the central courtyard.

As you can see from the photo, the kids line up in nice (but not overly fussy) ranks for the event. There are announcements, calisthenics and stretching, and often plays, skits or readings from some of the students. Sometimes there is a talk or even a meditation. There’s also a little school band, with drums, cymbals, fifes and other instruments. They’re pretty good – and somehow impart a sense of both fun and officiousness.

All this is taken respectfully, yet the atmosphere is light, with lots of laughter but no disruptive behavior. At the end, everyone shouts “Jai Hind!” — meaning “Long live India” – and scampers off to class.

A beautiful thing about Siddhartha School is that being there feels like being part of one big family. It doesn’t have an “institutional” atmosphere – there’s a real sense of love and connection that even a disoriented, American visitor can feel.  Self-consciously watching morning assembly for the first time, with no one to translate or interpret for me what was happening, I nevertheless felt enveloped, and deeply moved, by this collective warmth.


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