The Bioregional Women’s Festival: a unique experience!
You are all invited to join us for the fourth day of the Annual Women’s Festival at Auroville Village Action Group
the 7th of September from 10 am to 4 pm
In AVAG premise
You will see beautiful traditional folk dances as well as drama, group singing and story telling by the women. Join us for a celebration of the talent and culture of local women in the Auroville bioregion! Vegetarian lunch will be served at the office to all visitors.
AVAG organises such a festival every year; this year Women’s Festival started on the 3rd of August:
The celebration began with an inauguration ceremony. AVAG directors Anbu and Morris addressed the gathering of over 300 women. They were joined by the guests of the day including local school teachers and PAALAM members. We conducted a drawing competition with the theme: “From old to new”, the women produced beautiful images with innovative concepts. There was also a singing and public speaking competition. Apart from this we played some games together like the water bottle game.
The second day of celebration was on the 20th of August:
On that day, AVAG hosted 500 women for the day’s events. The program included a debate between selected members of women’s groups. The topic of debate was “Has the status of women in Tamil Nadu improved over the years?” Every year AVAG conducts a debate program for the women, as we believe that debating skills inculcate confidence in people along with the patience to respectfully listen to opposing views before responding. This year, the interested participants were given training by Sreenu Venugopal, a professional debater and ex-school teacher in the area. He was also the judge of this event. The training significantly improved the public speaking skills and stage presence of the women which was highly appreciated. The women displayed spontaneity and wit while proving their points by citing personal experiences. They used simple, colloquial language that struck a chord with the audience many of whom expressed a renewed interest in debating. The winning team was of the opinion that the status of women has indeed improved. However, special mention was made of the persisting social issues with regards to gender discrimination and there ensued a discussion on different roles the women can play themselves to improve these circumstances.
Along with the debate, the program included games like tug of war, kho-kho and musical chairs.
On the 23rd of August was the 3rd day of Women’s Festival.
We hosted 325 women in our office premises. The day’s program included a game of Kabaddi, three-legged races, one-legged races and Pot race which is a popular game among the women. A special thank you to Auroville Sports Resource Centre for coming to help us with conducting these. We saw an increased participation of local youth and PAALAM members from the villages in organising the event.
On behalf of AVAG team
photos by Marco Saroldi