Whenever there’s a holiday or celebration at 7 Sisters Home, our girls like to put on a “program.” For Christmas, Children’s Day, Bihu, the girls love to plan dances and skits and songs, to have a chance to show off their artistic side.
Today, one of our friends—one who has been with us for the last six months getting to know this country and its language, our girls and our staff and our city, one who has helped us learn about English and pregnancy and germs—left to return home. Though we are sad, we are thankful and we celebrated the time we had together with a “Farewell Programme” in classic 7 Sisters style.
The girls have spent days after school preparing their “acts” to celebrate their dear Ma’am. There were props and costumes and music and scripts and way too many balloons (which would occasionally pop during the program and scare both the performers and the audience). We planned to begin at 10:30, so—after a flurry of costumes and stage make-up and props—we finally sat down to the first performance around noon.
The program began with a group Hindi dance and the girls’ enthusiasm was infectious. With more than half a dozen girls on the “stage,” we can tell that some have more grace and rhythm than others, but none are lacking in energy. Even those who couldn’t even clap along to the later rendition of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” kept up and kept us beaming with pride.
Following the first dance, we had a selection of solo and duet songs in English, Hindi, and Assamese—with harmonies! And guitar! Three girls performed poems and our senior English class put on a small drama that they wrote themselves. Our girls are so talented! Some girls also performed a traditional Assamese Bihu dance, another Hindi dance, and a partner-disco dance before lining up to shake hands, cry, and hug their departing friend.
Some staff members offered words of thanks and encouragement and the girls offered a gift of hand-made flowers. The cake (chocolate) was delicious and followed quickly with a crowded and uncoordinated dance party. Those with grace and rhythm and those who couldn’t even clap along to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” kept up with each other, enjoying this chance for celebration and joy. Because everyone loves a little celebration, a little joy, even when we’re saying goodbye.