The climax to 2005 was celebrated with great fanfare and enthusiasm at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, where kishores and kishoris from the UK gathered for the New Year’s Eve programme on Saturday 31 December. The final sandhya arti of the year was performed at 7pm followed by darshan of the murtis and shrines.

A special meal was served before the evening’s programme that commenced shortly after 8pm in the Haveli. The opening session was conducted by Manoharmurti Swami, as a prelude to the launch of the Gujarati project for 2006. Learning the alphabet through innovative memory techniques and team activities provided a welcoming blend of education and entertainment as the entire audience became familiar with the key elements of the letters within 20 minutes.

The second phase of the evening for the kishores of problem-solving and creative engineering involving teams of kishores was initiated with a detailed briefing. The requirements to solve riddles and construct a parachute from limited materials proved hugely entertaining as teams battled to build the perfect device that would be tested from a height, with the aim to land in scoring zones.

The final presentation from the audio-visual team provided a reminder of the Kishore-Kishori events of 2005 through a montage of video clips, before a collection of short blessings from Swamishri fittingly concluded the activities for 2005.

Simultaneously, a message of samp suhradbhav and ekta echoed in the Kishori Mandal quarter, through an evening of team games, as the entire audience participated in the show. Each group nominated members to take part in various entertaining rounds, to earn points for their respective sides. Teams were eliminated in every successive round until an eventual winner was declared.

As the final moments of 2005 drew to a close, the Kishore and Kishori Mandal joined the main assembly for the New Year dhun, celebrating the arrival of 2006 together in the divine atmosphere of the Haveli.

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