Dashain Festival

We are learning the Nepali Language through various means…(more to come on that soon!), but one of the ways we will be learning is through Nepali rhymes.  The first few years of our first language input is through hearing the sounds around us, and often through story and rhymes.  When learning a second language, whether you are a kid or an adult, I feel it is so important to listen to and sing along to songs, even if you don’t know the meaning of every word or understand the grammar!  It’s the best ‘input’ to get a feel of the sounds, and you get to naturally learn the patterns of word order and grammar, so when you do finally get to learning about a particular grammar point, you have plenty of ready made memorised examples to connect meaning of that grammar point to! YouTube has oodles of songs in many languages…just search your target language 🙂

It is currently the ‘Dashain Festival’ in Nepal, one of their longest and most important, it’s 15 days long, the main day for 2018 being tomorrow, the 19th October.  So we are learning a rhyme that apparently every Nepali kid knows about this festival. Here is a version that we really like and are learning:

The basic Nepali lyrics to the original rhyme are as follows, but I think the version in the video is a little different (the challenges of learning a new language from scratch!!!!).  I contacted the makers of the video to see if I could get a transcript of the actual Nepali lyrics in their song….they said they are working on putting the lyrics on the video…so I guess we’ll just have to wait 🙂

Dashain aayo,
Khaula Piula,
Kaha jaula,
Chori lyaula,
Dhatta papi,
Ma ta chuttai basula

The English translation to the original rhyme are as follows:

Dashain has come
We shall eat and drink
Where will we get drink and food?
We shall go and steal
Oh damn, I shall stay away from you sinner.

A main message of Dashain is ‘good overcoming evil’, Nepali kids being passed this message on through this rhyme 🙂

On researching things about the Dashain festival, the kids found that playing cards and kite flying is popular during this time.  But the thing they found really exciting, was the 20 foot bamboo pole swings that are made for the kids….they’ve loved watching lots of YouTube videos….here is one:

Our neighbours have lots of bamboo in their back garden….I think the kids are going to plan an engineering feat with the neighbour’s kids pretty soon….they have found a few videos if these swings being constructed…lots of tech/design/math outcomes to integrate with that project 🙂 possible videos of that to come soon….

Australian Curriculum Links

By searching key words from such activities in the ACARA website, you will find plenty of outcomes for many year levels in many learning areas that this activity could springboard.

Each language for Languages Other Than English (LOTE) in the Australian Curriculum have their own curriculum to follow.  Nepali is not included, but as it shares the same script with Hindi, the Hindi curriculum could be used to map outcomes.  The general scope and sequence of the Hindi Curriculum is on the ACARA website (there are two, one for primary level entry, and one for yr 7-10 entry)…but the year level stuff doesn’t seem to be completed yet.

It’s sequenced as Socialising, Informing, Creating, Translating, Reflecting.  This activity of learning a song for the pure fun of it would include ‘Informing’ outcomes.  Hopefully over the next 5 months as we learn more, we will be able to link all parts of such a scope and sequence to our learning.  We will continue to learn from our hearts and with the resources we have…not from the scope and sequence….we will journal our learning of the language, then work out what we have covered in the sequence for reporting purpose only 🙂

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