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Mumbai Youth in Poland: Cultural Youth Festvial without frontiers - Life Enricher


By Clint Braganza
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Mumbai, May. 24. The silent hustle and bustle in a country far away from home bought a pleasant surprise to fifteen individuals here in India. Thanks to the missionary activities of Fr. Oscar Tuscano in Albania, the Salesian Youth House named after St. Jan Bosko in Rozansystok in Poland invited us youngsters from the Salesians of Don Bosco Mumbai Province to take part in a Cultural Youth Festival Without Frontiers (Festiwal Mlodziezy Bez Granic) and accompanying activities from May 18 to June 3, 2012. Fr. Ajoy along with Fr. Glenn and Fr. Roy carefully chalked out a plan to select a team of youngsters from the Salesian Parishes of the Mumbai region to be part of this Cultural Exchange. Fr. Isaac Arackaparambil and Sr. Rita Lobo were chosen to accompany the group and what followed was five months of rigorous practices in dance, choir, presentations, and exhibitions, depicting Indian Culture.  
On our arrival in Poland, we were greeted by the young and handsome Fr. Christopher from Poland, and our own Indian missionary Fr. Oscar Tuscano.
The nine hour flight was followed by another 6 hours of drive by car to the scenic village of Rozansystok. Fatigue was the only common feeling that affected all of us at the same time and that ended the minute we reached the house. It was like reaching back home. The smiles, the help in carrying baggage, the hospitality all went on to relax our tired minds and bodies. The cool climate accompanied by the warmth and love of the community of priests and boys gave us a sense of belongingness right at the outset. We ended the day with a short mass to thank God for his presence with us not only during the journey to Poland but the entire 6 months of preparation.
The sun rose early next morning , though we were awake and fresh only by 10a.m. Breakfast was lavish with cheese, pork, chicken and some veggies to complete the course. This was followed by a trip through the village looking at the simple life of the people. The huge homes and grassy outdoors stole the hearts of every person. The main attraction were the horses and a hall with no microphones yet excellent sound clarity. Things moved on so smoothly and fine that home didn't seem far away.
Games like football, table tennis and football kept us busy through the evening and an early dinner gave us enough time for Holy Mass, rosary and a profound group sharing. The experience of these two days not only brought the group together, but also brought us in touch with our inner selves.
The next day on the feast of the Ascension we attended mass in the parish in Polish. While this was an interesting experience for us, the locals also got a taste of an English and Hindi hymn which our group was invited to sing during mass. What struck us the most was the Spirituality and simplicity of the people. The blessing of children after mass also reminded us of a similar custom that existed years ago in some of our parishes. The remainder of the day went off with rigorous practices in preparation for the event. We feel really grateful to the Salesian community here in Poland for the par excellence hospitality they have offered. We look forward to two more weeks of learning and growth.
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