The week-end was spent in California Tamil Academy. Sat was graduation day – completion of a school year. California Tamil Academy is an amazing organization – run entirely by volunteers, they teach Tamil to over 3000 children in Bay Area. I really like the setup and the dedication. It gives a sense of belonging in more ways than one. People felt at home – at times, they behaved just as badly as they would in a political rally in India without the lathi-armed police.
For example, the secretary was pleading, shouting, cajoling anything to get people to settle down so the ceremony could start to no avail. It was so disheartening to see people (most of them with professional careers no doubt!) standing around without the least bit of consideration for the Secretary’s increasingly hoarse voice. I wonder why we embarrass ourselves thus when we congregate.
Finally, the program started, and the children trooped on stage to receive their certificates. As usual, they first sent the pre-schoolers onto the stage. They got them to stand on stage, and there was a slight delay before the certificates were given. The children were left standing on stage looking around at the crowd! One of them sat down on the stage (Guilty as charged: that clown was my child!) I was visible in the audience wringing my hands with an upward swing movement (“You can’t sit like that on stage K!” I said to her multiple times after the ceremony quite horrified)
The day after, was the annual day program. It was a grand mela – a LARGE congregation of people belonging to a similar demographic (all Tamilians with one or more children studying Tamil). The day long program started with the preschoolers. We had to drop them off after taking them to the restroom!
The cuteness index to quality of the program was inversely proportional.
In the preschool lot, there was one who decided to admire the chain she was wearing in the middle of HER program (this time, thankfully, it wasn’t my daughter!), one of them wanted to talk to his friends on the stage and another decided to just run to his mother halfway through the performance!
As the day wore on, the children definitely performed better! All in all, I laud the academy’s efforts.