an ancient Sanskrit word meaning


Object Handling at Horniman Museum

The Community Learning team at Horniman Museum organised training for volunteers to see the Horniman Museum’s collections as a source of inspiration for the Gujarati Yatra project. The training in the Hands-On-Base room applied an object based learning methodology. Participants explored fascinating objects from the museum’s handling collection through touching, wearing and discovering objects for themselves. Much of the handling collection contained real objects and not reproductions. This provided a special opportunity to investigate the objects close up. Many objects sparked memories of the volunteer’s past experiences. The volunteers learned how to handle museum objects effectively. They learnt all the skills required to handle these objects e.g, why wear gloves, equipment, how to assess an object, how to lift an object, how to handle small and large objects, how to handle costumes and textiles, paintings, furniture etc.


Sari draping workshops at the Horniman Museum 

People of all age groups participated in the fun filled ‘Sari Draping’ workshops. They learnt about the elegant garment Sari - its origins, history, designs, colours, where it came from, what kind of saris people wear at weddings, celebrations, religious ceremonies, funerals etc.For centuries women have been wearing saris – particularly as they reach adolescence. A married woman would traditionally wear a sari. A bride is given saris by her parents and in laws as wedding presents. Special occasions have special saris e.g. brides wears a special wedding sari called ‘panetar’, saris are given on special religious ceremonies, widows wear a white sari. Sometimes if a young woman dies, a sari is draped on her funeral cortege etc . Sari can be made of cotton, silk, a combination of it, synthetic material, muslin and embellished with gold or silver threads, mirrors, bells and glass. Types of Sari are differentiated from the place of origin, of the material, weaving pattern and how they are made. E.g. Silk saris, embroidered saris, bandhani (tie & dye) , patola, printed saris, wedding saris (panetar). Showing a sari in its full-length form emphasises on the beautiful colours, rich material and intricate embellishment of these fabrics.


Arts & Crafts workshops at the Museum and local libraries

People connected with heritage more through arts. Subrang was able to engage them in heritage through Gujarati arts of dance, music, crafts. People were able to delve into the heritage of their cultural art forms. Arts provided a direct and empathetic connection with heritage which unlocked latent interest. ‘The children had their eyes opened by the experience of doing beadcraft and claypot. Overwhelmingly positive in terms of engagement with the kids, a variety of activities, wealth of learning experiences. For many children, it was the first time. They thoroughly enjoyed working with beads.


Schools Workshops

Schools workshops were a very comprehensive set of activities for children to learn from. They were full of ideas and historical content. The children learnt to gather information from texts and data to interpret history and understand the various oral histories. They learnt about specific events in Gujarat, Africa, Britain, assimilated historical data and situated them in time. They understood the values underpinning a range of historical interpretations. Students read and analysed visual documents. Special workshops were held in the Croydon Central library where a Zanzibari Gujarati told the students her life story – from India to Zanzibar to Britain. She showed children spices and fruits grown in Zanzibar, worked with them with dual language storybooks, taught them African songs and then took them on a tour to the Museum galleries. Children taking part showed their engagement by asking lots of questions, answering and responding to questions and getting excited about looking at the spices, fruits, costumes which the workshop leader had brought with her.


Story telling by Seema Anand

Music and Storytelling Workshop

The Tabla workshops gave an understanding of the musical heritage of Gujarat and how rhythm and rhyme can be an essential part of their learning process. A wonderful Storytelling session engaged and captivated children who have an innate love of stories. ... Gujarati folk stories taught them about the Gujarati folklore, regions of Kutch. Children developed an understanding, respect, and appreciation for Gujarati heritage.