Story Telling Contest for Children and Young Adults Set in Boston

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BOSTON–Most children love to hear stories and want to hear their favorite story again and again. In fact many of them are very good story tellers themselves.  Here is their chance to learn and tell a new story or retell their favorite story in a video that is 1 to 5 minutes long and submit it for the contest.

This unique contest is organized on the occasion of Hindu Heritage Day 2021, to be held virtually on May 22, 2021. The topic in the video need not be limited to a story.  It can be about their favorite deity or character (Hanuman anyone, Ganesha, Krishna-Sudama), incident from the life of a great teacher (Adi Sankara, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Swami Sahajananda, Guru Nanak), explanation of a teaching (Gita shlok, Thyagaraja’s composition, Kabir’s couplet, Gayatri Mantra),  or about a practice (yoga, meditation, concept of Shuchi or hygiene).  These are just a few examples. The topic can be related to Hindu Heritage and its range is vast.  We have collected some ideas on a webpage and are constantly adding to it.  The webpage with the contest entry form, FAQ and topics can be found at: https://boston.vhpa-america.org/hhd21/contest.

The contest is open to ALL youth 20 years or younger who are residents of the six New England  states.  This is to keep the entries to a manageable number and to give chance to local talent.  We will be glad to assist organizations in other regions to have similar contests in their area.

Hindu Heritage has made great contributions to world civilization till date and continues to help in tackling modern problems, be it through Yoga, Ayurveda, eco-friendly practices, or meditation techniques (e.g. for mental health and even hypertension).  Many adults in Hindu families imbibed bits and pieces of their heritage from growing up in joint families or through extended families and social institutions.  However, with the current lifestyle in USA, interactions with extended family are very limited.  Therefore, it is important for adults to identify family and social traditions which are worth passing on.  We invite them to submit suggestions for the list of topics and its organization on the webpage.  They can also help the youth to express these topics in the contest video (however, do not be disappointed if the youth would rather talk about something different.  At least we would be listening even if we are not be able to accept all the suggestions).   Do check out the existing list of topics on the above webpage.

Video entries by the youth will be categorized in various age groups.  The participants can dress up or use any background ranging from their home altar or a simple wall.  Comprehension of the topic by the youth will be a plus.  Avoid bright lighting (such as a window) behind the subject so that the story teller can be lighted well.  Technical excellence is not expected. Bloopers, errors are acceptable (we realize that it is submission by a youth, not a parent).  Parents are reminded to make it a fun activity and avoid insistence on perfection.  Yes, there will be lots of prizes ranging from $25 to $150 depending on the number of entries.  Selected entries will be broadcast on Hindu Heritage Day on May 22nd, 2021 afternoon.  Additional entries will be viewable at the website above after the Hindu Heritage Day.  Please register at the website to receive notification of the internet address for the online Hindu Heritage Day celebration.

The organizers are truly excited in this adventure to collect nuggets of Hindu Heritage contributed by the families in New England area and to encourage the youth in delving into their culture while developing their skills at telling a story.  Please visit https://boston.vhp-america.org/hhd21/contest   periodically to learn of more details and view any updates.  If your questions are not answered by the information at the webpage, you are welcome to send email to the organizers at  bgarg@ieee.org

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