Welcome to Friends of Camphill India
Camphill India
Throughout the year many festivals are celebrated in the traditional style. Whether it is Christmas, Easter, Shankranti or Diwali, or any of the other special dates, the whole community participates in the celebrations with great enthusiasm. Special meals are prepared. The houses are decorated, and all are dressed in their festive clothes. No birthday or anniversary passes by without a little party. There is singing and music played and guests are always welcome on these occasions. Francis, our community coordinator, has written a number of plays over the years that are enacted by our residents and co-workers, and the actor or actress who steals the show is - more often than not - one of our special friends. It is heart warming to see the eagerness with which all of them participate.

7th Anniversary of our Community

In the late afternoon on 1st of April 2006 we celebrated our 7th birthday with an open-air festival to which the families of our residents and many friends were invited. For more than a month the whole community had busily prepared for this day and the programme showed so well with how much love and enthusiasm each one played his or her role. The youngest children, daughters of our co-workers, wrote and acted out a sweet little play about a cow, a milkmaid and a monkey. Folkdances paired off residents and co-workers in a joyful mood and it was moving to watch them play out the love story of "Lady Claire", an English lyric. Padma, the daughter of our house-parents, gave a graceful Bharat Natyam performance, songs from a well-known musical gave our singers a chance to let us hear their melodious voices and a puppet theatre not only told us an interesting story but also showed us the beautiful puppets that were made in the community. A spirited skit by a group of clowns was received with much laughter, and then it was time for a break. A lovely spread of snacks was laid out in the workshop building and only too soon the platters were emptied. By now the evening sun had set, the first stars appeared in the sky above and all

the guests assembled once more in a half circle in front of the Antaranga steps to watch the last part of the programme, a serious and quite dramatic play enacted by our foreign volunteers. It was the story of a Buddhist nun who, in her earlier life, had been murdered by her bridegroom moments before the marriage took place. Now she meets him again and can forgive him. The audience watched spellbound as the story unfolded and there was much applause for this beautiful performance. By now the guests and all our community members had worked up a good appetite and much enjoyed the wonderful dinner that our parents had prepared for this occasion. Once again we were witness to the special spirit that permeates our community. We are all fortunate to be a part of it.

14th Anniversary of our community

On 30th March 2013 we had another open air festival, this time to celebrate the 14th Anniversary of our community. It was the hottest part of the year and so the families and friends were once again invited for a celebration in the cool evening hours. After a welcome cup of tea or coffee and lovely snacks, while some of the volunteers played music, we assembled below Antaranga, under shady trees, which had been decorated with strings of lanterns with candles in it and sitting there, we awaited the evening’s programme which was very special: a Shadow Play depicting the life and adventures of Parzival.

Already in November the community started with the narration of the story. Then the practice began; each and every individual in the community took part, often playing more than one role. In December all the 65 scenes of the play took shape. These scenes were filmed on five long, amazing days. A professional film crew took over and by January the community could watch the full movie. Everybody was very enthusiastic but exclaimed: “... we do not understand the story, please explain more...” And so in February the story was studied again, part by part.

Parzival goes a journey we all go through. He represents in a way all of us: our quest to fulfil our true destiny, our battles to refine ourselves, the “inner Jihad”, the “inner Kurukshetra” or the story of any person who wants to work with himself to be able not to destroy this world but to add healthy life forces to it! The story was written down in the 13th century AD. Therefore the destiny affairs wear the colours and flavours of those days. But --- the inner journey is so familiar to any man at any time.

And so on 30th March we could witness this incredible Shadow Play. The audience had been warned that the two hour long show might be a challenge for some, but not a soul left earlier; they sat, spellbound, to follow each movement, each scene, each sound. Between the four parts there were refreshments for all and a short break. The evening ended with a delicious dinner in front of Antaranga. The sound of thunder from far away and a bit of lightning, accompanied by a few drops of rain made this celebration still more auspicious.