Tuesday, July 13, 2010

SILC @ Dragon Festival (July 10, 2010)

Dear SILC:

Here are the YouTube links to the SILC performances at the Dragon Festival today.

Special thanks to Meera Viruru for being the MC for the Indian Section of the event. Meera you did a great job!  Also thanks to Major Shiv Bhatia, for being the impromptu Stage Manager - it was great help.

SILC Tabla: http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=qfCn-wznbpI

SILC Adults - Vallah Ray Nakooa: http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=eQdIXTWiNsw

SILC Kids - Mera Laung Gawacha: http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=PO28DypiiSk

SILC Teens - Aaja Nachle: http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=qjOCIhUt_ n4

Happy Viewing!

Raj Menon

Friday, April 23, 2010

Vibha Kalakar 2010

Dear SILC students and parents:

Vibha has announced kalakaar 2010 results.  You can see the results at http://wiki.vibha.org/Minnesota:Kalakaar_results_2010

Following SILC Students are recognized for their submissions at National and Minnesota levels in different categories.

National Winners:

Story Writing (9-14 yrs)

1st Place : Meera Malhotra Viruru (Minnesota)

Painting (3-8 yrs)
2nd Place : Shared by Aradhana Menon (Minnesota) and Trisha Rao (San Diego)

Minnesota Winners:
Story Writing (3-8 yrs)
2nd Place : Akshay Nambudiripad

Story Writing (9-14 yrs)
1st Place : Aadarsh Padiyath

Painting (9-14 yrs)
1st Place : Preeti Pidatala

Congratulations to the winners. And big thank you and congratulations to all the SILC students who participated in Vibha Kalkaar 2010. Just remember how you contribution is going to help...

A new book to write in, a new pair of slippers, a new little shirt for the New Year- these are some of the ways that your participation or your child's participation could make a difference, a small difference to someone on the other side of the globe.

Yours sincerely
Siva Jasthi

Friday, April 2, 2010

Global Hotdish Show at Minnesota History Center (3/27/2010)

Dear SILCers:

SILC left its mark at Global Hotdish Show at MNHS last saturday through its performances.  Though I have missed seeing the performances in person, I have heard and have seen the photos / video of SILC performances. I can tell that SILCer had lot of fun.

[1] Here  is a trailer MNHS has prepared for their promotion for the next year show and it reflects the summary of 2010 Global Hotdish show. Thanks to Wendy Freshman from MNHS for sharing this video.

[2] For the record, here is the recap of the dances performed by SILC

Food, dances and music play big part in many of the festivities and celebrations in India.  This is reflected beautifully in it's folk dances and music. Graceful movements, lively music, toe-tapping rhythm and colorful costumes make the dances a joy to perform as well as watch.

To show-case the variety in the folk dances, School of India For Languages - known as SILC - performed three unique dances each hailing from a different state in India and each having a unique style, different costume and even different language.

The children's dance is from the state of Punjab. The dance is called Bhangra when boys perform and Gidha when girls perform it. This fast paced dance is set for an old folk song. This song is about a girl complaining about losing her shiny nose ring, the nose ring that enhanced her beauty so much, when she came to the park to meet her boy-friend.

The youth dance shows the folk dance style of the state of Rajasthan. Graceful movements and pirouettes are salient features of this dance. The song for this dance is called 'Aaja nach le', which means "come and dance". It is from a Bollywood movie by the same name. The song invites every-body to "Not take life too seriously, Leave all worries and celebrate and dance to the music"

Finally the adults are going to perform a folk dance, called 'Koli' from the coastal region of Maharashtra. The song is a popular old folk song which talks about the joys and perils of the fisher-man's life. The movements of the dance are graceful and fluid like the waves of the Ocean.

[3] "Mirchi Bajji" from SILC Cooking class is nominated as SILC's favourite hot dish. If you want to try it, here is the recipe http://silccooking.blogspot.com/2010/01/week-12-mirchi-bajji.html

[4] Here is a thank you note from Wendy Freshman, Program Director from MNHS.

An absolutely HUGE thank you to the astounding show on Saturday!   Everyone’s participation created the most delicious hotdish that clearly left our audience members dancing out of 3M Auditorium.  Your talent and energy was a sight to behold and what a great gift you gave us all.

Thanks for mixing it up and sharing what you do so well –it was a pleasure working with each and every one of you!

And here is just a sampling of the positive feedback  from our surveys..
“This was so fun”
“I liked the respect for everyone”
“Great family entertainment”
“A very nice afternoon at the History Center”
“Fantastic idea for celebrating diversity”
“Laughter is the universal language”
Once again,  many thanks for the wonderful day and I look forward to crossing paths with you again in the very near future!


Congratulations to all the performers; and a big thank you to the teachers and parents for their support. Thanks to Baiju Sadanandan for sharing his picaso album.  I took the liberty of posting some pictures here.

Yours sincerely
Siva Jasthi

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vibha Kalakaar - 2010

Hello all

Remember that Vibha Kalakaar entries are due this week. SILC will be paying for the entry fee for all students. We want to collect them together and mail them all in as one group. If you send yours electronically on your own, that is up to you, but we would like to make one large donation to Vibha. For those of you who do not know what Vibha is, please see this link:

For rules on the competition:

Please note that if you use the rules from last year that is also OK:

Let me know if you have any questions. I hope to get a lot of entries from SILC. (If you follow the 3rd link on this page, you might see a lot of familiar SILC names!)

Thank you,
 Krishnan Nambudiripad

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Social Studies and Literature Day - 13th February (Contd.)

Dear Students, Parents, Teachers and Volunteers:

We had great day yesterday celebrating the learning experiences of our Social Studies and Literature Students. Congratulations to all the students and to the teachers who have spent lot of energy and showed their passion to learning and teaching - in producing a memorable show.

I also have another happy news to report on Haiti Earthquake Fund.  We have collected $440 at the event and one of the parents have pledged $100. With that we have met our goal. SILC will be donating $540 collected from SILC students and parents PLUS another $500 matching grant  - a total of $1040.  I am very pleased with the way our SILC has chipped in to contribute to a good cause. If you are still planning to contribute, you can still do that -   write a check to UNICEF and hand it over to me or Mangala next Saturday. We plan to send all the checks to UNICEF next Saturday Feb 20th

I just want to provide a quick recap of the day to all of you. I also have posted some pictures from the event for your viewing pleasure. 

(a) Sonja : Social Studies 1 (Children)

Sonja's students made a poster outlining India's culture and events; They have talked through their poster.

(b) Krishnan: Social Studies 1 

Each of Krishnan's students made a poster showcasing India's classical dances,  national animal, classical music, national symbols. As you can see from the pictures posted, lot of effort has gone into making these posters.

(c)  Shally Gupta: Social Studies 2
Shally's students performed or talked about India's famous persons - Indira Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, etc.  What a best way to learn about India's history and current events?

(d) Keshav and Maulika: Social Studies 3
Icing on the cake goes to keshav and Maulika's students.  They have made a video of themselves acting out different historical characters - bringing out different contrasting perspectives of the events. The students not only have learnt a lot, but they sure had so much fun in learning.  Kudos to Keshav and Maulika for their creativity in imparting social studies education. You can also find the video on youtube, or on silcsocialstudies3.blogspot.com

(e)  Sarah, Sujata and Divya: Literature
 Finally, literature students performed several skits from Akbar and Birbal stories.  They also have made a beautiful poster as a background for performing the skits. I couldn't resist listing one of the shortest skits they performed

Akbar: Do you want 100 easy questions? or 1 tough question?
Birbal: 1 tough question
Akbar: Chicken or Egg? which came first?
Birbal:  Chicken
Akbar: How did you figure it out?
Birbal:  No second question please.

All the performances turned out very well and is a reflection of the dedication teachers and students have put together.  Booking the Auditorium for this event also proved to be right decision. For next year, we will do better in coordinating the audio and visual systems.

After the performances, we have continued our celebrations in enjoying the food.  Managla arranged for the snacks - and I heard from so many parents that - the samosas are very yummy and tasty and that their kids have taken many seconds several times (does that count as thirds? and fourths? :).  We also celebrated the birthdays of all SILCers by cutting huge cakes.  Raghu made some soothing tea. All in all, it is a festivity after proud performances of the students.

If any of you want to add anything to this note, please drop me a note or leave a comment at this blog.

Yours sincerely
Siva Jasthi, Principal

Sonja: Social Studies 1

Krishnan: Social Studies 1

Krishnan: Social Studies 1

Krishnan: Social Studies 1

Krishnan: Social Studies 1

Krishnan: Social Studies 1

Krishnan: Social Studies 1

Krishnan: Social Studies 1

Shally: Social Studies 2

Keshav and Maulika: Social Studies 3

Sujata, Sarah, Diyva: Literature Class

Sujata, Sarah, Diyva: Literature Class: Background for the skits

All that we need is a reason to celebrate: Tea

All that we need is a reason to celebrate: Birthday cake

All that we need is a reason to celebrate: Enjoying the food

Kids hanging out after a great performance on stage

Haiti Earthquake Fundraising Jar: $540 + $500

Friday, February 12, 2010

Social Studies and Literature Day - 13th February

Dear Parents, Children and Teachers

Some reminders and logistics about tomorrow.

[1] Tomorrow is Social Studies and Literature Day - where students will be presenting what they are learning through presentations.

[2] There are no language classes or elective classes tomorrow; However, all the students registered only for languges and elective classes are welcome to come; We are all expecting you to be there.

[3]   We used to hold the social studies presentations in the cafetaria in earlier years. However, due to the size of SILC this year and so as to give emphasis to social studies and literature classes, we will be holding this event in the Auditorium tomorrow.

We will meet at 10 AM as usual; And after "vande maataram', we will all go to the Auditorium for our presentations to start.

[4] The presentations will be held in the following order.

[a] Sonja : SOcial Studies 1 (Children)
(b) Krishnan: Social Studies 1
(c)  Shally Gupta: Social Studies 2
(d) Keshav: Social Studies 3
(e)  Sarah and Sujata: Literature

[5] One of the parents asked me whether it is possible to show power point presentations; Yes. We are planning to provide a laptop computer and a projector for the students presentations;You can bring your presentations on USB drive.

[6] Also note that we will be collecting the donations for Haiti earthquake victims tomorrow  per the information provided to you earlier.

As a non-profit organization run by volunteers, SILC lives by the above saying. SILC wants to help Haiti earthquake victims, in the capacity and means it can. Any contribution – be it a $1, or $2 or $5 – given by its students and parents will be matched by SILC to a maximum limit of $500. I am hoping that we can collectively donate over $1000 towards helping Haiti. Please hand over your donation to your teacher or Principal on February 13th (social studies day). Our plan is to donate this amount through UNICEF. For further details on UNICEF channel, please see http://www.unicefusa.org/news/releases/unicef-urgently-appeals-for.html

See you all tomorrow

Yours sincerely
Siva Jasthi, Principal

Saturday, February 6, 2010

SILC Times - Second issue is out today

Dear SILCers:

Today's issue of  SILC Times can be accessed here.  Please get in touch with Erin, Assistant Principal if you need printed copy of this issue.

A big thanks to the contributors for their inputs to the new letter and to the editorial board for bringing out another excellent issue.

Also note that earlier issues of SILC times are archived here.

Your Sincerely
Siva Jasthi, Principal

Helping hands are holier than praying lips

Dear SILCers:

As a non-profit organization run by volunteers, SILC lives by the above saying. SILC wants to help Haiti earthquake victims, in the capacity and means it can. Any contribution – be it a $1, or $2 or $5 – given by its students and parents will be matched by SILC to a maximum limit of $500. I am hoping that we can collectively donate over $1000 towards helping Haiti. Please hand over your donation to your teacher or Principal on February 13th (social studies day). Our plan is to donate this amount through UNICEF. For further details on UNICEF channel, please see http://www.unicefusa.org/news/releases/unicef-urgently-appeals-for.html

Yours sincerely
Siva Jasthi, Principal

Vibha Kalakaar 2010: Unleash your Creativity. And HELP a Child in NEED.

Dear SILCers:

Another exciting event is Vibha Kalakaar 2010. SILC participated in this event last year and we would like to continue this tradition.

SILC students can participate and enter in different categories - Painting, Short Story writing, Essay writing, Photo Contest and Essay Writing. SILC will be paying the registration fee for all SILC students who submit an entry. And students can participate in more than one category as well.

Please visit http://wiki.vibha.org/Minnesota:Kalakaar-10 for further details. The deadline to submit the entries to Vibha is March 6th. Please handover your submissions to Principal or your teacher on March 6th. And wear your thinking caps now and start working on your Vibha submissions.

Yours Sincerely
Siva Jasthi, Principal

Vibha KALAKAAR 2010

A platform to appreciate the ARTIST in You

Saturday, January 9, 2010

SILC @ MN History Center (27th March 2010)

History Center

Global Hotdish Variety Show Bring the kids! It's A multi-cultural mash-up of music and dance.
"The variety of performances was excellent and the show was very family friendly. We would not hesitate to return."
~Linda K. (minnemom) of Travels with Children
Where can you see Mongolian foot jugglers, a national yo yo master, a Hmong comedian, Austrian alphorn players and wacky chickens? In a whimsical 90-minute, family-friendly variety show, of course!  
The exciting three-part performance series returns for another captivating good time in 3M Auditorium with multi-cultural and multi-generational artists who are classic and quirky. 
It’s a mash-up of music, song, games and dance representing Africa, France, India, Iran, Latin America, Northern Asia, the West Indies, and Minnesota nice thrown in for extra spice. 
Come for the pre-show entertainment at 1:30 pm in the History Center rotunda.  Be a part of the show as you clap, swing and dance along.  Test your wits with the Geo Pop Quiz, and Great State Trivia TidBits, then join the sing-along finale!  It’s all part of the Saturday matinee fun…..so let us entertain you!
For tickets call 651-259-3015 or purchase tickets on-line.
  • Time: 2 - 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Minnesota History Center
  • Tickets
    • MHS Members - $10
    • Non-MHS Members - $12
    • Children age 6 to 17 - $5

Online Special!  Buy tickets to all 3 shows on the same order and receive $1 off Adult and Member Adult tickets!

January 23, 2010

Show Host: T. Mychael RamboDazzling Dave
The House Band: Tres Mundos
  • Yo yo tricks with Dazzling Dave
  • Persian song poems with Maryam Yusefzadeh and Tim O' Keefe
  • Appalachian flatfoot clogging with Bob Walser and family
  • Fur trade fashions and a capella harmony with The Sons of the Voyaguer
  • Pre-Teen vocal sensation Julius Andrews IV

February 27, 2010

Show Host: Pop WagnerPop Wagner
The House Band: Dan Newton and the Café Accordion Orchestra
  • Mongolian foot juggling with Chimgee  Haltarhuu  and Anwar Hassouni
  • Ojibwe flute music  with Darren Moose
  • Faux French Cooking with Z Puppets Rosenschnoz
  • African American step dancing with DelaSouljah Steppers

March 27, 2010

Show Host: Tou Ger Xiong
The House Band: Cyril Paul and the Calypso Monarchs
Tour Ger Xiong
  • Wacky Chickens with Lloyd Brandt and Rosie Cole
  • Exquisite choreography with the School of India for Languages and Culture
  • Austrian Alphorn music with Steve Ecklund, Vicki Wheeler and Becky Jyrkas
  • Hmong comedy with Tou Ger Xiong
  • Fast taps and high kicks with The Satin Dolls

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Dear SILCers:

One of the SILCers have forwarded me this video and I couldn't resist sharing with all of you. I felt I am off on a good holiday break.

By the way, childrens dance video and dance steps are now posted to http://silcdance.blogspot.com There is dance try outs at the end of January (for festival of nations) and actual performance at the end of March at Minnesota History Museum. The clock is ticking. Please visit and let your children practice the dance.

Happy holidays.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

EVENT: Stories of Akbar and Birbal @ Dreamland Arts

Dear SILCers:

Some of you may be interested in this event.

Siva Jasthi


(for ages 5+)" align="left">
Sat, Nov 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Nine Jewels: Stories of Akbar and Birbal
(for ages 5+)

$7 ($5 for kids)
Purchase Online or call 651-645-5506
(no extra fees, no matter how you buy)

The humorous stories of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and his favorite advisor Birbal are very popular in India, and are widely enjoyed by both children and adults. Zaraawar Mistry performs entertaining stories of wit and wisdom with Greg Herriges providing live musical accompaniment. Interwoven into the cultural aspects of the storytelling are a series of questions and clever riddles that encourage children to sharpen their wits. Ages 5+. 45 minutes.

Zaraawar and Greg have performed stories for audiences at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, St. Paul Public Library, Hosmer Library (Minneapolis), and for students from schools such as Richfield Elementary, Galtier Elementary (St. Paul) and Lake Country Montessori (Minneapolis).


MINDFUL PARKING: Dreamland Arts is in a residential neighborhood. Please respect the quiet and privacy of our neighbors. If you live close by, please consider walking. If you drive, park on Hamline Ave. There is free parking on both sides of the street right in front of the theater.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hindi Kindergarten is starting next week

Dear SILCers:

As you all are aware, Hindi Level 1 class now has both preschoolers and first graders.

We are happy to announce that a new section of Hindi class for Preschoolers and Kindergartners will be started from next week (11/14/2009)

Thanks to Pamela, Umesh and Shiv for working out the logistics; Shiv Bhatia has stepped up to volunteer to teach this class. The class will be held in the cafetaria.

Giving special attention to our little ones is an excellent idea and I see that 10 preschoolers have already signed up for this class. Please spread the word to the other parents about this new offering at SILC.

Yours sincerely
Siva Jasthi

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

EVENT: Indian Students Association

Dear SILCers:

I would like to make use of this forum to let you know of any events related to Indian culture, arts - happening in Twin Cities.

Indian Students Association at University of Minnesota is having their cultural show on Friday, Nov 13th at at Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Avenue SE, Minneapolis MN.

To know more about the event, please visit http://www.tc.umn.edu/~indians

I understand some of Adult Hindi class students expressed interested in this event. If any of you have further questions on this event, please get in touch with Shikha Jain Goodwin (who is a doctoral student at UMN) at SILC on Saturday.

Yours Sincerely
Siva Jasthi

Friday, October 30, 2009

October 31st - Halloween and SILC Saturday - Exciting coincidence

Dear SILCers:

Tomorrow is Halloween October 31st. And it is also our SILC Saturday.

This coincidence is sure exciting and I am sure all the kids (and some adults) will love wearing their costumes to SILC tomorrow.

In this spirit, all of you - Students, parents, board members, teachers, volunteers - are all encouraged to come in Halloween costumes to SILC tomorrow.

Usually, candy is not served as a snack at SILC; But tomorrow is an exception where we will give out candy in addition to snack.

See you all tomorrow in costumes.

Yours sincerely
Siva Jasthi

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Diwali Celebrations and Picture Day : Thank you

Dear SILCers:

Thank you all for making Diwali celebrations at SILC a success and fun event.

It is good to see you all today at SILC. You are all dressed for the diwali celebration and picture day. .

Thank you all for bringing a sweet or snack or dish to share. Many of you have spent lot of time, effort in preparing a variety of very yummy dishes. It is very satisfying to see all of you enjoying the food and festivities.

Some of you have shared how Diwali is celebrated in different parts of India. Thank you for sharing those experiences. One particular story Riya told on how Diwali is celebrated in her native Punjab stuck to me -- lighting the lamps and keeping the doors open during the night so that Goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth) will come inside the home. Is it possible to do keep the doors open during diwali while living in Minnesota - the ice box of America? I couldn't resist this thought and the chuckle.

SILC is growing. And it is growing big. I think this is the first time where getting all the SILCers into a group picture proved to be a challenge. But Ralph - our official photographer (I took the liberty to give him that title) managed to get the group picture. Thanks to Ralph for taking all the family pictures with the backdrop of arts class creations. We will share these pictures with all of you soon.

Decoration of diwali diyas is fun. I can see many kids and grownups - immersing themselves in that craft. It appeared to me that the tables got too crowded. Each experience at SILC teaches us something - so, it is going to 200 diyas spread across 4 different tables :) next year. Thanks to Neelam for arranging the diyas and Lisa for coordinating the decoration and to all the parents who helped in this activity.

It is all colorful joy all around.

The first issue of "The SILC Times" is released today. A big thanks to Erin - our Asst Principal and editor of the news letter, Lisa - our art teacher and the composer of the news letter and Anushka, Kavya, Mahima, Meera - our editorial team - for bringing out a beautiful and best issue out. Hope you all had a chance to read it. Please make sure that you do the quiz from the news letter - to know your teachers better.

There will be two more issues of the news letter (one on January 23rd and another April 24th). There will also be graudation year book at the end of the current academic year. Please start thinking about contributing to these these issues.

As outlined in the news letter, please make sure that you visit SILC Blogs to catch up with the news and announcement; and also to see the lesson plans/assignment your teachers are posting.

You can go to http://www.silcmn.com and click on "Classes" to visit different SILC Blogs. For the current academic year, the main blog is http://silc0910.blogspot.com (the one you are currently reading now). For each class, there is a separate blog (silckannada, silctamil, silcart, silcpreschool, etc. all followed by .blogspot.com).

Enjoy visiting these blogs and please feel free to leave a comment or feedback to the SILC blogs.

Sincerely yours
Siva Jasthi

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Diwali

Dear SILC:

Happy Diwali.

Hope you are all getting ready for Diwali celebration at SILC on 10/24.

Note that we will just have language class on that day followed by celebrations. It is also picture day. We take pictures in the language class. These pictures will go into year end graduation book. Please make sure that you attend SILC on that day.

Also, please bring some snacks/sweets to share with others. Food is a big part of the festivities in any celebration.

Feel free to bring a friend or family to SILC on that day - if you want to show them what SILC is offering.

Finally, here is a message from president Obama wishing you all Happy Diwali.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

SILC @ Sonu Nigam Concert

SILC setup a booth at Sonu Nigam Concert today. Around 1500 folks might have come to the concert, primarily adults and parents, with a few kids here and there.

It is always heartening to see people stopping by at SILC booth and telling us that their kids went to SILC 20 years back or they have taught a language at SILC in the past or they have volunteered at SILC.

Being around the block for a long 30 years itself is a testimony to the role SILC plays in the community.

Several parents have expressed interest in SILC. And we can expect some more students at SILC. The strength of SILC is in its flexibility in accommodating the students irrespective of when they join SILC community. Let us continue to welcome new familiries!

Friday, October 2, 2009

October 2nd is Gandhi Jayanthi

“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides, and my windows to be closed. Instead, I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any”.

Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vande Maataram and Jana Gana Mana

We start each SILC saturday with Vande Maataram and end with Jana Gana Mana. And some of SILC parents and students have asked for a CD of these anthems.

Distributing 125 CDs is not possible, but here is the next best thing. I have posted some references here for you. Enjoy!

Jana Gana Mana : Vocal (Audio)

You can download the National Anthem from here. This is official version from Government of India and runs for 52 seconds

Jana Gana Mana: Piano Music

If you are interested in playing Jana Gana Mana on piano, you can download the music here.

Jana Gana Mana : Vocal (Video)

Jana Gana Mana : If you are feeling shy to sing at SILC, you should watch this.

Kenya sings Indian National Anthem, ever imagined it?

Vande Maataram (Original)

Vande Maataram (Another version)