March, 25 2004
The Southeast bal and kishore mandals staged numerous Hindu cultural programs with the theme “Sanskruti – Our Cultural Heritage” to spread Satsang awareness (prachãr) to the community. For these programs, kishores and balaks from different centers volunteered their time and efforts for Maharaj and Swami. Centers where programs were performed are Raleigh, Spartanburg, Charlotte, Columbia, Savannah, Jonesboro, Rome, Columbus, Perry, Ozark, Jacksonville, Tampa, West Palm, Orlando, and Melbourne. Through the course of performing the programs, kishores were able to develop samp with each other. This cultural program had many goals to achieve,in addition to spreading Satsang awareness. They were intended to serve as a precursor to the “Paramhanso Na Pagle Pagle” project so that the community would be aware of BAPS activities by the time the Pujya Santo arrived. The program also served the purpose of spreading the message of the Southeast shikharbaddha mandir and Param Pujya Swãmishri’s visit for its Shilanyas and his summer vicharan.
To make these cultural programs successful, the Southeast Bal and Kishore regional core teams (RCTs) created a packet for easy execution. The fruits of their efforts produced a Hindu cultural program, where various utsavs would be celebrated. At a Southeast Kishore Mandal Get-together in Charlotte, the plan was unveiled to the region’s kishore mandal as a whole. The Southeast was divided into three zones— a North and South Carolina zone, a Georgia and Alabama zone, and a Florida zone. In each zone, the kishore mandals combined would perform this cultural program to the centers in that zone. For successful execution of the program, each zone was led by the RCT members and department heads were also appointed. These kishores were responsible for everything from start to finish – from getting the participants to each location in the transportation department to making sure there were rooms for the participants to sleep in the accommodations department. They also had to plan decorations, set-up and clean-up, costumes, food for both the attendees and participants, PR, Shayona, bookstall, pictures, reporting, audio-video, environment and exhibition. Not only did they have to coordinate all of this but they had the added overhead of coordinating for all of it in a remote location, where there are very few haribhakto.
The actual content of the cultural program was our various Hindu utsavs, such as Uttrayan, Holi, Ram Navmi, Diwali, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturti, and Hari Jayanti. Coupled with these utsavs were dances and speeches for each one. Also included in the program were speeches expounding the achievements attained by our guru, Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj and BAPS and its involvement with youths. A final speech was delivered on the importance of mandirs to spread the message of the mega-project of the Southeast shikharbaddha mandir. Multimedia presentations were also incorporated throughout the program. With all this, a successful cultural program was developed to spread the glory of our Sanstha.
The cultural programs were a great success in the community. All kishores and balaks sacrificed their time and efforts to please Swamishri. With the motivation and guidance of Pujya Santo help from all of the region’s karyakars, and cooperation from one and all, the program thrived.