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After WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic, schools, universities, and coaching institutes in many states of the country including Delhi, Assam, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh have been shut down. More than 300 million students are missing out on classes worldwide as the authorities are restraining people from participating in public gatherings. Amidst all this, educators are taking critical steps to make sure that students don’t lag academically. Online classes have turned out as the most fortunate solution to make sure that the syllabus can be completed on time and it does not pose serious implications on the examinations. To ensure equal participation, here is what students could do to manage their studies.
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- Learn through online trainings – The outbreak of Covid-19 compelled a lot of educational institutions to go online and deliver lessons either through presentations or recorded videos. Those students whose universities could not process the same yet, should ideally enrol in online trainings and utilise this time to learn a new skill. As students’ dependency on physical classes and teachers would no longer work, this is the time when their time management and ownership skills would come into play. Various online training platforms have come forward to support the students by either providing hefty discounts on the trainings or letting students enrol in the same free of cost. Students could either choose a short-termed online training which aligns with their stream of study to enhance their practical understanding such as Programming with C & C++, Advanced Excel, and Core Java, or they could utilize this time to explore new opportunities through unique online trainings such as French Language training and Photography.
- Build a real-world project virtually – Every online training comes with unique industrial projects to add value to students’ learning. For example, in Java training, the students can develop a ‘connect four’ game using Java FX and basics of Java; in AutoCAD training they can learn to build 2D drafts and 3D models, and in the digital marketing training, they would create a blog and devise an online marketing strategy on it. Real-world projects put their overall learning to test as they implement the skills they learnt. Having a unique project of their own could prove to be a great achievement as it adds weight to the students’ resume. It also works as a sign of credibility for their future employers explaining that they have successfully learnt a new skill and they know its application. Students could utilise this time, enrol in exploratory trainings, strengthen their practical concepts through exercises and quizzes, and can build a one-of-a-kind industrial project on their name.
- Intern or volunteer virtually and get exposure – The availability of virtual or work-from-home internships allows students to intern with renowned organisations, enhance their skill-set, and make some extra income just with the help of a laptop and stable internet connection anytime, anywhere. While applying for jobs, even freshers are expected to have practical knowledge, and the ones with a better record of internships usually get preference. As students are restricted from travelling and most of the offices are following the work-from-home model to fight against Covid-19, applying for a virtual internship at this time could help them explore different career opportunities. Business development, influencer marketing, and market survey are few roles for marketing enthusiasts whereas content writing, creative writing, copywriting, editing, and proofreading are few interesting roles for those who love writing. Similarly, students can intern in various roles in diverse fields of their choices such as in accounts, animation, app development, biotechnology, chemistry, client servicing, commerce, and digital marketing.
- Develop hobbies – Pursuing a hobby tends to have a positive effect on the mental and emotional health of a person. In a situation like this, focusing on polishing any of their hobbies could help the students to stay refreshed and free of stress and anxiety during Covid-19. Whether it is painting, craft, dancing, photography, singing, playing music, reading books, sports, or anything else, spending at least 2 hours every day on their interests would help the students find mental peace. Moreover, continuing to do so might also help the students find an out-of-the-box career opportunity. Students can start a YouTube channel where they can teach art and craft or an Instagram page to showcase their photography skills, or even start a blog to pursue writing.
- Make a schedule to prioritize tasks – Students, who aim to have fulfilling online learning experience should make a schedule and avoid procrastination. As the panic around Covid-19 continues to rise, it would be difficult for the students to stay focused on their studies. The best way for students to avoid getting affected by rumours is to keep a distance from social media, create a schedule, and spend at least 2 hours a day on learning. In an alarming situation like this, students could turn out to be more productive by prioritizing their tasks. They can simultaneously complete their university assignments and can learn a new skill with ease as their valuable time would not be spent on dressing up and commuting to attend lectures. In such a situation, students’ emotional intelligence, ability to make decisions independently, and multitasking abilities are put to test and through an effective schedule, they can fight against the odds.
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For students, it is extremely essential to make the most of this period instead of spending their entire day on browsing content online. Other than focussing on all the above-mentioned points, students facing any sort of confusion related to the spread of the virus can take help from their parents or guardians.
If someone in their acquaintances has unfortunately suffered or is suffering from Covid-19, parents could help them deal with the emotional and mental repercussions of the same. Students can involve in a healthy discussion with their elders and can get their facts and figures right related to Covid-19 to avoid lack of knowledge and spread of rumours.
Courtesy: Internshala Trainings (training.internshala.com) – e-learning platform to learn new-age skills from Internshala.
Light, airy, and silky, Chanderi silk is to the standards of Indian royals. Some believe it resembles muslin because of its texture, but recently, it has been incorporated with silk threads which adds an additional sheen.
Madhya Pradesh's Chanderi town is where the silk fabric was born. Handwoven sarees were famous here, as it was the primary textile centre in between the 7th and 2nd century BC. Because of its transparency, lightness, and rich look, royals began to patronize this fabric. From the 11th century AD, Chanderi silk became well-known across the country.
The Chanderi weave is a heritage. Long lines of weavers passed this skill to their children, and it is not disclosed to anyone else. It is too delicate to be woven on power looms as the threads are spun until they are as fine as a 300 count. A special root named Kolikanda is used to extract the cotton wool for the silk. These days, gold and silver are embroidered into it. Motifs were created with metal dust.
A weaver working on a Chanderi loom Image credit: Wikimedia commons
Unlike other fabrics, Chanderi silk fibres do not go through a degumming process. They are not crafted to evade breakage and tear easily under high pressure. This is one of the reasons they are so light. It is often called 'woven air' for its breezy, soft texture.These days, the use of cost-effective raw materials spoils the natural beauty of the weave. One of the ways to identify a pure Chanderi saree is from its soft hues. This silk is usually dyed in pastel colours. The motifs are always handwoven and covered in copper dust. The machine weave tends to unwind with time and is not preferred. Original Chanderi can be differentiated from the fake by its glossy shine.
Keywords: Chanderi silk, Royals Silk sarees, Chanderi weave is a heritage.
Each year Diwali is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi, the 14th lunar day of the dark fortnight in the Tamil month of Aippasi. Ancient scriptures of India advise people to worship Yama, the deity of death on the days of Dhantrayodashi, Narak Chaturdashi and Yamadwitiya. People light an oil Diya or 13 oil diyas made of wet wheat flour in the evening. They are kept facing southwards just outside people's residences. These lamps which are traditionally dedicated to Lord Yama are known as Yama Deepam.
It is believed that placing a Yama Deep in the evening of Trayodashi of the dark fortnight of Kartik month prevents any untimely death in the family. The legend of Skanda Purana says that the lighting of Yama Deepams with faith and devotion by the devotees can get the lord to bless them with grace and long and healthy life. Yamadev, the lord of death himself gave assurance to his attendants that even though death is inevitable and cannot be avoided those who perform this Deepdan on Dhantrayodashi will not suffer an early death.
The ritual Yama tarpanam can also be performed early in the morning on Diwali day as a form of worshipping Yama.
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Story of Origin of Yamadeepadana
A 16-year-old son of King Hima was destined to die on the fourth day of his married life due to a snake bride. A girl agreed to marry the unlucky prince despite knowing his ill fate.
She wanted to save her husband; on the fourth day of their marriage, the young bride didn't allow her husband to sleep. She lit the palace with innumerable Deepas, and gathered all her ornaments, jewellery and coins, and placed them in a heap at the entrance. When Lord Yama, guise as a snake reached the palace, his eyes were blinded by the dazzle of deepas, preventing him from entering the room. He waited near the ornament and coins for the prince to approach them. He sat there all night listening to the songs and tales narrated by the young bride. Soon, the sun rose and Lord Yama had to return empty-handed. The wife had saved her husband from the mouth of the death. Since the day of Dhanteras was named Yamadeepdaan and this tradition was celebrated by burning lamps through the night dedicated to Lord Yama.
When Lord Yama, guise as a snake reached the palace, his eyes were blinded by the dazzle of deepas.Unsplash
Elements of Yamadeepadana
To perform the ritual of Yamadeepadan one requires sandalwood paste, turmeric, vermilion, flowers to offer to the god, consecrated rice in the ritualistic pattern. For achaman (purification ritual) a cooper platter, tumbler, and a spoon are required. The lamp is placed in a copper platter to be taken out of the house. Most importantly, you need to prepare 13 lamps made of kneaded wheat flour mixed with turmeric powder.
Significance of wheat flour lamps
On the day of Dhanteras, the Tama-dominant (negative) energy frequencies are active in a higher proportion which causes untimely death. The lamps made of wheat flowers neutralize these energies and protect you from any unfortunate death.
Why "13" lamps?
- 13 lamps are offered to the lord as the frequencies coming from Lord Yama stay only 13 moments of Hell. Hence, 13 Deepas are lit to appeal to the lord this is known as Yama-Tarpan.
- The number '13' has the power to impress Yama; therefore, on the day of Trayodashi, prayer is made to Yama by offering 13 lamps to escape from death.
- The period of death of an embodied soul is 13 days long, during this period a black covering of death occurs around the soul and slowly it succumbs, in the next 13 days the souls penetrate through subtle boundaries of time to go to other 'loka' from earth aka bhoo-Loka. Untimely death occurs by crossing over these 13 wheels of time. To avoid such untimely death in the subtle 13 wheels of time, 13 'Deep-Daan is performed.
Diwali is one of the most auspicious festivals celebrated in India with utmost dedication, happiness, enthusiasm, and passion by the people. By performing Yamatarpan, the sins of the entire year are cleansed.
Keywords: Diwali, Dhanteras, Lord Yama, prevent untimely death, Yamadeepadan, diyas ritual, wheat flour lamps
South India is renowned for many things that elicit culture and tradition. One of the things normally associated with this intricate and impenetrably tradition-bound group of people is their immense love for gold. Their temples, sarees, utensils, and sometimes even food are coated in gold. Their jewellery, while stunning, often bears social implications within their own family hierarchies. One of these traditions is upheld even during Deepavali.
A practice followed usually in wealthy households, Thalai Deepavali is the first Deepavali celebrated after the daughter of the house is married off. During her wedding, the father of the bride would have put up a spectacle, no doubt, but on this occasion as well, he has to host his son-in-law with all the splendour he can afford.
A gold ring studded with diamonds Image credit: Wikimedia commons
The newlyweds come to the bride's house to celebrate an elaborate week of festivities. During their stay, no work is required of them. They are pampered and fed with the best food, choice delicacies, and clothed in beautiful adornments. The son-in-law is taken very good care of and is looked up to as the one who takes up responsibility for the welfare of his bride.
Thalai Deepavali is an intimate celebration while it lasts, but its success reflects only when the groom goes back home. As tradition requires, the bride's father is supposed to present the groom with a ring made of gold. Ideally, it is supposed to represent his worth in the family. Based on the prosperity of the bride's family, and the social standing of the groom's family, the ring is also set with precious stones. It is believed that the pure and unchanging nature of gold will rub off on the wearer. It is every father's wish that his daughter is well-placed in the in-laws' house. When the groom returns home, if the ring does not meet the expectations of his family, it is likely that the relations between both families are soured for a long time.
Deepavali celebrations in Chennai, Tamil Nadu Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
As enduring as gold is in the southern states, it is a symbol of their culture more than anything else. On the occasion of Deepavali as well, gold is the light that shines on a girl's marital life and the blessing to her husband's family.
Keywords: Thalai Deepavali, Family Celebration, elicit culture and tradition.