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Incredible India charms Poland, thanks to Mumbai youth

By Marina D`costa
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Mumbai, May. 28. The festival in Poland has indeed been an enriching experience for all of us. It is a question to ask, ''How can one be an Indian and not be proud of it?'' This journey has brought us close to our own culture and the culture of other nations. The festival has really lived the spirit of cultural exchange in the true spirit of humanity. The festival was so youthful that all danced to just one tune of appreciating and being open to each other's cultures. The face of India was shining throughout and our smiling faces are what they will remember forever.
Our interaction with people, irrespective of we not knowing the language, has made a great impact in the festival. The appreciation of us as a group and as individuals has enriched our stay in Rozanystok. The Salesian fathers admire our enthusiastic Eucharistic celebrations and love the spiritual tenor of the group. Our hard work as a team along with our mentors made our performance so remarkable that we have got the title of being professionals. People here know a lot about India after the exhibition and performance. When the ministers and other personalities came to meet us and take photos with us, we felt strong in our Indian identity. They showed a lot of respect towards Indian culture and appreciated our presence in the festival.
Kids at Rozanystok came with gifts to wish us happy journey back home and also had tears in their eyes, making us know that they will miss us. The Indian group connected with people of different ages from different nations. After the exhibition and performance, all that they had to say was, ''I love India''. They loved our colourful costumes, dances, music, laughter and language. As a group when we sat back for evaluation, we realized the responsibility of being the face of India. We made our commitments to appreciate our culture and not to take it for granted.
Our presence has made a difference to people in the festival. Especially, the craze for Bollywood has made us popular. Being kind in our own ways and helping others to know about our culture has made many very comfortable with Indians. They have learnt to interact with Indians and it has broken many myths about us Indians being introverted, simplistic and unadaptive to western cultures. At the same time people from Japan, UK, Israel, Poland and many other volunteers from different countries started talking to us about their culture and made us feel a special part of the festival. We did march along as Indians everywhere we went but at the same time helped others realize that we are not different from them. The spirit of India was everywhere and it touched many hearts. We were blessed to be the face of India, especially the face of Don Bosco India. While the cultural festival in Poland has officially come to an end and as we come to the last few days of our stay here in Poland, we all know that our journey back home is with a mission to share this spirit of the festival and to give the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) a strong impetus in the province. May Don Bosco's spirit guide us and may our efforts bear lasting fruits.
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