Family gathering – Fusion space of Sarvodaya life

Sun was setting, as ripples of lake around scenic Bandaragama (Sri Lanka) sarvodaya education centre, turned red. It was true reflection of our minds, after a long day of a lengthy review meeting of Fusion team, after first year of survival. We all realized Social Enterprising had torn our hearts and sapped all our energy. Few of our revenue centres were about to close down, which certainly a killer blow to few of our brothers and sisters who had strived to manage them. And tomorrow is the decision day for them. Yet, all of them were getting ready to organize a Family gathering.!

(How wonderful to see this family spirit. That was my inner mind).

Family gathering – is a unique tradition in Sarvodaya. It is an event lasting for an hour minimum where everybody, despite rank, age or gender, sit together on the floor and spend some time together to build up the common spirit. Its impact is such by the end of the gathering, nobody wants to leave the place. They all feel bonded with an inner fabric of humanity – friendship – happiness and spirituality.

Usually one person volunteers to lead the Family gathering which begins with a few minutes of meditation. Some times, this follows a  small religious speech. One may speak of a Jataka Story (of Buddhist scriptures) or else, one may run a Bible story. (Not specifically labelled to religion). That infuses a bit of a spiritual surrender to the gathering.

Then follows a key speech. mostly by an invited speaker – which can relate to the theme of gathering. Such speeches may last for 10 – 15 minutes, and expected to carry a depth and diversity added with oratory skills to touch the heart of the community.

Cultural activities breaks the monotony. One may play a guitar or a drum encouraging others to sing together. Small dramas, pantomimes are performed by children and youth as they find the stage to demonstrate their unexposed talents.

Such aspects add the vibrancy and evoke sentiments, which gradually lead into open discussions of participants.

It becomes an evening camp fire at times when  it is being organized during Shramadana camps.

Family gathering is a true Fusion space – of culture, spirituality, humanity and development. (I am sure one may add more descriptions – as the outcome of family gatherings are truly difficult to define).


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