New England Malayalee Association chose the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami on October 17th, 2010 to start it’s Malayalam classes for children.
The ceremony of Vidyarambham (Vidya means “knowledge” , arambham means “beginning’) for the children is held on Vijayadashami (the last day ofNavaratri) day. On that day thousands of people arrive at the temple to initiate learning to their children.
Initiation into the world of syllabary usually begins with the writing of the mantra “Om hari sri ganapataye namah”(ഓം ഹരി ശ്രീ ഗണപതയേ നമഃ)Hari(ഹരി) refers to the Lord, sri(ശ്രീ), to prosperity. Initially, the mantra is written on sand or in a tray of rice grains. Then, the master would write the mantra on the child’s tongue with gold. Writing on sand denotes practice. Writing on grains denotes the acquisition of knowledge, which leads to prosperity. Writing on the tongue with gold invokes the grace of the Goddess of Learning, by which one attains the wealth of true knowledge.[Vidyarambham]
The first class was a huge success with over 20 children attending. This is an initiative headed by Manoj Nair and Asha Manish. Malayalam classes would be held every other week at the Burlington public library. The schedule is here. The children were thrilled and they are all looking forward to the next class.
Some images of the first class below: