The Life Essentials Convention attracted over 100 young students to learn about the rich culture and heritage of our Motherland, India.
The Convention was inspired by Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj, spiritual leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, the worldwide centre for spiritual, cultural and social welfare, and organised by Shree Muktajeevan Culture Academy, a youth wing of Shree Swaminarayan Temple ‐ Golders Green, London. It aimed to teach the essential rudiments of living a moral, spiritual and cultured life during a four day residential camp held in Kent, UK from Friday 2nd April to Monday 5 April 2010.
Throughout the four days, educational, recreational and social events were held, through which the young students, all of Indian origin and born in the UK, learned about their responsibility to the environment, to society, to their family and elders, and to themselves, which are the true, eternal values of Hinduism.
As well as gaining spiritual, cultural and moral values, key personal skills such as building confidence, public speaking, team working, respecting others, etc. were also taught. Activities were held to enhance and develop the characters and skills of all the participants. The need to bridge the gap between the young and old, and have trust and respect between all, was conveyed through debates. In addition, the students were given lessons in cooking traditional Indian foods.
For the four days, a camp site was created, which the students themselves decided to name ‘Little India’. With everyone living together in this way, a real community spirit was established through shared cooking, cleaning, organising and problem solving. Everyone was given responsibilities, and encouraged to think about the best ways to tackle the issues.
Said Pragnesh Pindoria, a 16 year old participant, “I learnt so much during these four days. I am proud to be Indian, and am honoured and fortunate to be a disciple of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan – it has given me so much knowledge, and taught me skills that will help me in all aspects of my life, from home to career. I thank Acharya Swamishree for creating this event.”