GOD North America-wide Samskruthi Contests 2021
Video highlights: https://youtu.be/wasUgIrFlZE
With the blessings of Sri Swamiji, Global Organization for Divinity in USA and Canada together conducted enriching ‘Samskruthi’ contests in Vak (Speech), Sloka, and Art for children and youth aged 6 to 18 years from across North America. These events encouraged the participants to explore various facets of Sanatana Dharma by learning and appreciating new concepts or stories; using their creativity and imagination in presenting these concepts verbally and visually; and building useful life skills such as memorization, public-speaking, artistry, pronunciation, and more, in the process.
The contests were all held in four different age categories – 6-8 years, 9-12 years, 13-15 years, 16-18 years. There were about 125 participants from all corners of North America across all the three events.
For the Vak (Speech) contest, participants were encouraged to speak for 3-5 minutes on different age-appropriate themes. The youngest age group shared interesting incidents from the lives of saints, the second youngest group on Bhakta charitrams, Sri Rama’s or Sri Hanumanji’s qualities, or Why Nama in Kali Yuga. Teens explored topics from Sri Ramanujamji’s Intelligent Living series, Bhakti Yoga series, and ‘I am Awed’ Hindu Youth Q&A series. Young minds opened up to new perspectives as they learned, analyzed and appreciated the grandness of Sanatana Dharma through these subjects.
In the Sloka contest, participants memorized and recited some lovely prayer verses that form the very heart of Sanatana Dharma. This provided the youngsters a wonderful opportunity to learn these key verses and also accumulate special ‘grace’ points along the way, due to their chanting the Divine Names of Bhagavan.
The Art contest was amazingly vibrant and the colorful, creative artwork that all the participants presented indeed filled the hearts of all the viewers with joy. In this event, the youngest age group presented artwork on specific deities like Sri Jagannath Parivar, Sri Hanumanji, Sri Shiva linga, Lord Ganesha, etc. The second group presented unique depictions of Sri Rama and Sabari, Sri Krishna and Kuchela, Sri Rama and Guha, Sri Srinathji, and Sri Srinivasa. The early teens created artwork depicting various Krishna leelas like Govardhana leela, Kaliyanardana Leela, Makhan chori leela, or Prahlada/Sri Narasimha, or Gajendra moksha. The late teens group were given themes such as Brahma mohana leela or Amritha mathanam, etc. The artists were allowed their choice of medium and colors – acrylic on canvas, water colors/color pencils/crayons on paper, or even digital media such as iPad and pencil.
The event was brought together by about 30 volunteers from different cities and states including Atlanta GA, Bay Area CA, Jacksonville FL, Raleigh NC, Houston TX, Dallas TX, Boston MA, Redding CA, Richmond VA, Toronto Canada.
Although winners were picked in each age group category, every one of the participants benefited greatly by being a part of this event. They learned and grew in many ways, and they were also the recipients of the immense grace of Sri Swamiji and Sri Premika Varadan-Madhuri Sakhi.
Video highlights of the event including clips from winners in various categories: https://youtu.be/wasUgIrFlZE