Our biggest problems are the language and the weather

"The whole world is one family. We believe that and try to practice it in Vrindavan Shakha" - How the Indian community is involved in Dresdner Nachbarschaften.

Text: Rosa Hauch

Manasi comes from India and has been living in Dresden with her family for a few years. Her son will soon continue his studies in high school. Today we are practicing the poem by Heinrich Seidel, “The Chicken and the Carp” together. It miracles and spectacles loudly and we enjoy playing. But Shrirang can do even more. He knows Marathi, his mother tongue and that of his parents, and English. Moreover, Shrirang can play and narrate episodes from Indian history in Hindi. And everything comes naturally to him.

Four years ago, Manasi and her husband, along with two or three other Indian families, started an initiative to present history and stories from India to their children and anyone else interested, as well as to practice yoga.

They call their event “Vrindavan Shakha” and all neighbors are invited. They started in the respective apartments. In the meantime, gymnasiums are rented because more than 100 visitors come. There are 18 communities in Germany and over 100 in 15 European countries.

We want to improve

To become better means for those interested in these meetings to create something big with many small things. The Indian community has already cleaned the Elbe meadows twice with their international and German friends, they have driven to the Ukrainian border several times with donations to help the people and much more. Everything happens voluntarily. Whoever has time, comes. The idea of the foundation was that the children of Indian parents who are born in Germany have to develop their bond with the Indian culture in a completely new way. “The whole world is one family. We believe that and try to practice it in Vrindavan Shakha,” Manasi says.

And yet, in Germany, many things are different, mentality, food, language, weather. The latter is the biggest challenge of all.

Indian punctuality

Whatever the clichés tell, they are not true here. The event begins on time and in a very disciplined manner. Those present stand in four rows one behind the other. Instructions are heard and due to the reverberation in the gym, it is not possible to understand everything the first time. The commands are given in Sanskrit, one of the oldest languages in the world. But it is also spoken in English and Hindi.

What seems almost military to me is order and discipline, and for those now sitting in rows in the lotus seat, seemingly completely normal.

In a certain order, children of different age groups, as well as adults with and without costumes, play episodes from Indian history. There is singing and also dancing.

After that, discussions are held on various topics. This time is also communicated in advance and is clearly limited, for example, to 30 minutes. The community identifies with the respective problems of the host country. My worries, your worries do not exist. From this point of view, it fits perfectly if locals participate. After all, it is our concerns that need to be discussed. Later, when the weather is good, traditional games are played outside.

Strength of character, knowledge and action

On closer inspection, it becomes clear that there is ethical international consensus on many values. Being there for others, helping each other, and being decent in the best sense of the word apply internationally. Stealing, murdering, lying are outlawed by the community everywhere, regardless of faith or religion. What counts for Manasi and her fellow campaigners is that people not only talk about something, but also take action, remain open to others and treat each other with respect.

More information

Vrindavan Shakha Dresden
Mail: hssbg.dresden@gmail.com
· Phone: 0176 97720979

Dresdner Nachbarschaften – sichtbar, vernetzt, engagiert!

Neighbourhoods are everywhere – we are right in the middle of it. With district walks, conversations in the green, creative workshops, exhibitions and much more.

Supported by

The project is funded by the State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion. This measure is co-financed with tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the Saxon state parliament within the framework of the state programme Integrative Maßnahmen.