My life in Devala

September 26th, 2014

My name is Kousalya and I am from Devala area. I live in Valavayal Village. I am studying in 9th Standard at Holy Cross Convent Matriculation School, Devala. My tribe’s name is ‘Paniya’. Many, many years ago my grand parents and great grandparents lived in my village too. Our village people are very kind people, they have a mind of helping everyone.

In my village live many children. Usually during the holidays they play together. In my village there is one small pond. During the holiday, children usually play in the pond and catch fish. We also bathe, wash clothes etc. there.


Near our village there is a forest, sometimes elephants come to our village to eat bananas where we have planted banana plants. At night when the elephants come, our village people get fearful.


In the Paniya tribe, we pray to God Kuliyan. We dance to the god during March and April. In these months people come to our village from nearby Paniya villages to pray to Kuliyan God and dance with us.  Our Paniya dances are called Mari Kali and Thaya Kali. Music is also played the Pullicheenam (a small wind instrument) and Thudi (type of drum). Only boys and men play this instrument.

In my home there is my mother, Seetha, my sister Gowri and myself. My moher goes to work to look after my sister and me. My sister Gowri is studying nursing (2nd year) in Ashwini hospital. I like my school and my

family and my friends.

My aim is to become a doctor. I like science subjects very much because I love my science teacher, Ms Sindhu.

My hobbies are playing, drawing, dancing, chatting with my friends. My friend Rinsha lives in Kerala, I love her very much and I miss her.

When I finish my studies and get a good job I am to look after my mother well.

I am very proud to share about my village, friends and family. Thankyou friends!


By, Kousalya.



May 13th, 2014

Dear friends,
Thank you so much for all your lovely replys to our last blog!
It is great to hear about your villages and we noticed that our homes are not that different after all. Eventhough we have all these thousands of kilometres between us, our homes and villages and what we like about them are very much the same. That is great!

We kids from Vidyodaya School are still on holiday and enjoying to play outside and with our friends in the villages. Next month the monsoon, the rainy season will start and we will have a lot of rain! Can you imagine that it rains all day and all night? For almost five months? 
That can be really annoying and also boring sometimes when we are not able to play outside and have to play indoor games or do longer arts and crafts lessons in school.
The nicest thing during monsoon is to lie in your bed in the morning and hear the raindrops on the roof. That is such a cosy feeling, being cuddled up under warm blankets and listening to the rain.
Also in the rainy season everything becomes so green! It is as if the plants would breath in the fresh air and are so happy to drink all the rainwater after the dry summer. All the animals will come out of the forest and we have to be careful on our way to school as the elephants might cross our way! There is also an insect that especially comes out during the rainy season- the cicada. It is just about 4cm long but it makes a really loud sound that you can hear through the forest from a far distance!
It is also season for our favourite fruit- Jackfruit! But we have to be careful, because it’s also the elephant’s favouritve fruit…
Sometimes in monsoon season the clouds are so thick and grey that they cover all the mountains and you can’t even make out that you are in the Nilgiri Hills. On other days it hails. We like to pick up these little frozen raindrops, suck them and let them melt in our mouth. But it is also cold and we have to run fast so we don’t get to wet on our way home. The path in the forest is very slippery and we have to be careful not to fall into the mud.
If it still happens it is very funny and we take a mudbath in the flooded paddy fields and play football on the fields eventhough we get wet.
We also have to help our parents fix our houses during the hlidays so the rain won’t get in when monsoon stars.
Another good thing during rainy season is that we get to go home an hour earlyer than usually, because it gets really dark and rains a lot in the afternoon and it can be very tricky to get back home then..
Anyways, my friends, it is sunny at the moment and we are going out to play!

your friends Meraji, Megala and Anjali

My village

April 4th, 2014

Hello friends!
Today the kids from 7th standard are telling you about their villages,
we hope you have fun reading their comments!

“I like that in my village there are many flowers. I have many friends in the village and I play with them. I don’t like any other village, I like only my village. There we have good water and many good fruits. We have beautiful gardens, but I like my garden the most.
In my village there are many houses and many hens, cows and cats. Many children live in my village but also old women and old men. In my village there is a school but I don’t like that school. I like only Vidyodaya school.
I don’t want to live in any other village.” – Keerthi

“I like my village. My village is near the forest. Many people live there. The only thing I don’t like is when elephants come to my house and I don”t like wild pigs. There are many trees and plants. I enjoy to go inside the forest.
Still I would like to live in town. The town has many Buses, cars, Jeeps and Loreys. I like to drive a jeep. The town has many schools and the village has only one school. It also has many shops, my village has no shops. I’d like to live in town, but the town has a lot of plastick and waste and then there are cows and they eat the plastick and then they die. My village has no waste and plastick. I like my village.” – Manikandan

“In my village I like my family and playing and to see movies. I really like hunting for animals in the forest. I like peacocks very much. A peacock is nice to see. And I like birds. And I like fruits very much. I like to climb trees and I like the colour green.
I don’t like to go to the hospital and I don’t like to go to school. I don’t like monkeys and donkeys.
I want to live in Kerala, there are many friends and big citys.” – Anub

“I like my village and lane. In my village I like the gardens and water. But I don’t like the people in my village. The people do not understand good news and they fight about the water and some problems come up. The flowers in my village have many colours and are beautiful. I like the Temple in my village and I like the girls and boys. I have four friends. I like my village sooo much!” – Indira

“If you ask me if I like my village, I would say yes. There is fresh air and it’s hilly with a good view and good soil for Agriculture. It is only misty in the morning. Many animals like deer, elephants, wild buffalos and many other animals live there. There are many trees and some big shops and tasty food.
I don’t like the hot season and that many cars make so much pollution. I don’t like people building many houses and cutting the trees.
If you want to know if I want to live somewhere else I would say: No, I couldn”t part with a piece of land from my beautiful village called Gudalur.” – Vishnu

“I am writing about my village. I like my village because in my village live many people and they have small small houses with colourful flowers and trees. I have friends there, many friends. Their names are Keerthi, Meraji, Keethi, Badichi and Arun. My village is very big and many mothers live there in many houses and boys and girls. We have Mango trees, Banana trees and Gova trees. Many trees.
I like my house and I help my mother and my brothers. I cook rice. My village’s name is Kangikolli. I like my village’s name, My grandmother’s house looks very nice and my sister’s baby is in my house, it looks very cute. I like my sister’s baby. Keerthi’s house is in the same village and also Meraji’s. I and my friends play many games and we talk about the school.
I like all the houses in my village very ver very much!” – Megala

“I like to live in my village, because we get fresh air. I have many friends in my village and it is in the nature. My village is in the forest. My house is very nice and it”s also in the forest. It is not very noisy in my village. I like to be in the forest and to look into the green. In the forest we have many trees, birds and animals. In the village I meet new and old friends.
One thing I don’t like are the elephants which are coming to my village. My village is very silent. I really like my village.” – Rani

Uchar- in my village

March 14th, 2014

Today Magesh from 8th standard will tell you about Uchar, which is an important festival of the Mullakuruma tribe.

We celebrate uchar once a year.
On this day we worship our ancestors, who are Gods for us. We offer food and drinks to them and prey for their blessing for the new year.
It is also the day when the young boys from my tribe go on their first hunt. Every year a few kids start their training for the hunt. Mine was a few years back but I am still learning. Most of the time I use a catapult to shoot down small birds, but some other man will hunt with bow and arrow. We also learn how to set up traps in the forest to catch rabbits. The girls from my tribe don’t go for hunting but they stay in the village and prepare food for the dinner when the hunters return. They will also go to catch fish in the stream. Also for Uchar they will clean all the houses in the village, especially the ‘god’s room’ where we sacrifice the food for our ancestors. To clean the houses the women will mix cow dung and coal and sweep the floors and walls with it. So everyone has a special task that day.

I and my father went for uchar on Tuesday evening at 4:30pm on the bus. The bus was very crowded till Pandalur and it also didn’t go very fast.
When we reached Ayyankolli I felt hungry and so I, my father and my sister-in-law went to a hotel and we ate. Afterwards we bought some fruits for my grandmother.
We walked to my village from the bus and everyone from my family was there. It was good to see everyone and we all were very happy and had a nice evening.
On the next morning I slept till 7 o’clock and then I ate my breakfast. After that my grandfather and my uncles all went into the ‘God’s room’. The ‘God’s room’ is a room in which we believe the spirits of our ancestors live as gods. They gave some alcohol and flaked rice to them and then they locked the room. When we do that we believe that our ancestors are eating what we gave to them.
In the afternoon, after lunch we went hunting. We took our bows and arrows.
When we went for hunt we saw four rabbits but we weren’t able to catch them, because we didn’t have any dogs with us. Usually the dogs will chase the animals. So we didn’t hunt anything, but that was still a nice time.
When we returned to our village we were tired.  After we had refreshed we all ate our dinner at night. It was a beautiful dinner.
At last we all danced our vattakalli and kollkalli. We danced till 12 o’clock and then we all went to sleep.
On the next morning we had to go back to Gudalur.
It was a really nice time!

Magesh (8th standard)

On the way to school

February 6th, 2014

Hello friends!
Today Meraji and Anjali from 9th standard will tell you about how they start their day and what they see on their way to school.
Of course they experience a lot in the different seasons- there is so much to see!

Hello! My name is Meraji. I am from Kargudi which is a Bettakurumba village. It is quite far away from school. Every morning when I wake up I will see the forest and deer. Then I brush my teeth and I eat my breakfast which my mother makes every morning. I like it very much.  I like all food. Then I will change my dress and I comb my hair. Sometimes I listen to songs. Before school I will play with my friends. Then I have to clean my room and help my mother. Most likely I will fight with my brothers. I like my brothers very much. Every day I support my brothers because I love them. At 8 o’clock I will walk to the bus stand to catch the bus to school. On the way I can see many elephants, monkeys, dear, wild pigs, and sometimes even a bear. Sometimes I will even see a tiger from the bus.
During the monsoon I don’t like to walk, because it’s muddy, cold and windy. When the rain falls down I like the smell of the mud. During the monsoon we get many fruits and many different flowers.  In the rain season I like to stay in bed because it’s very cold and the raindrops sound nice. And I like to play in the rain and I like to see the hail.

Hello friends!
My name is Anjali. I’m from Chembakolli. I’m studying in 9th standard with Meraji, Rekha and Vibeen.
In the morning when I wake up I hear bird sounds and I’ll see the field where our cow grazes. Then I’ll brush my teeth and I’ll eat my breakfast which my mother made. It is very nice. My favourite food is noodles. Then I help my mother and afterwards I will take my bag and I’ll walk through the forest. There I’ll see two people walking on the road. They are going to work in the tea estate, plucking tea leaves and cutting wood.
I can see birds, mice, deer, butterflies, grasshoppers and spiders. Then I see some trees like guava trees, gooseberry trees and many kinds of other trees. During monsoon season I don’t like to walk, because it will be muddy and slippery under my feet. It is the most difficult time to walk through the forest because it’s so muddy. It’s also cloudy and windy. During the rainy season I see many elephants. At one point the jeep that takes us to school will wait and we have to ride it for 30 minutes until we reach the school. From the jeep I can see trees, elephants, deer and many people going for their work.

How do you get to school? And what is the first thing you see and hear and do in the morning?

Take care!

We kids from Vidyodaya School

January 20th, 2014

Dear friends!
Today two students from Vidyodaya School would like to introduce themselves and write about what they do in school, where they come from and what they like.

Hello, I am Rekha! 
I am from Chembakolli and I study in 9th standard.
I am from the Kartunayakan tribe.
My best friends are Sangeetha, Anjali, Meraji and Vibeen.
My favorite subjects are Tamil and Social Science. I like my school very much, even if it’s not fun to study sometimes.
I would like to be a police woman after school.
We are four people in my family: My mother Radha, my older brother Dhanesh, my older sister Remya and me. My pet animal is a tortoise. My mother works as a tea picker and my brother works with an organization called “The Shola Trust”, he goes into the villages and looks for sacred groves (Kaaves, see his entry on “Sacred Groves” from October 2013). My sister is studying in 11th standard; she wants to be a nurse.

Hi! I’m Vibeen! 
I study in 9th standard in Vidyodaya school. I want to be a photographer after school.
My mother is from Devala, but we live in the nurse quarters near the Gudalur Adivasi Hospital. My father is from Palakad, he is non-tribal and has a vegetable store in Gudalur town. My mother is Paniya, she works as a nurse in the Adivasi hospital. I have an older brother called Praveen, he studys in College and a younger sister called Dhanya who studies in 6th standard in my school. We have two dogs called Snowy and July and a few chicken. We also have two aquariums with some fish.  My best friends are Mridul, Prasath and Rekha.
When I am in the village I like to go for fishing in the stream and play cricket. I don’t know how to swim, but I want to learn it one day.

Next time we will tell you about what we see on the way we have to walk to school.
Good bye!

belated merry Christmas and a happy new year!

December 31st, 2013

Dear friends!

We hope you had a great time with all your family and friends, had some really nice food, a beautiful Christmas tree and many gifts.
Even here in India we celebrate Christmas in our school.
As said before, Christmas needs some really nice food, so on the 23rd we baked Christmas cakes in school. The kids were divided up into groups and each group got all the ingredients for a cake. We were pretty busy mixing everything and adding all the ingredients, so it took us the whole morning, but in the end we had 20 cakes! They are very tasty with nuts, cinnamon, cloves and other spices in it and we spent the afternoon baking them and decorating our school ground.
On the next day we cut the 20 cakes into more than 300 pieces and served them to everyone during the celebration- what a fiest!
We did not have a Christmas tree in Vidyodaya School but we built our own stable out of straw and decorated it with colourful bands and stars. In the weeks before Christmas we had made many mud-figures for the krip, painted them in all colours and finally put them in the stable.
Our celebrations in school took place on the 24th.
At ten thirty everyone from the organization’s office, the school and even some people from the adivasi hospital gathered on the ground near our school.
As said in the last blog post we had practiced all the Christmas Carlos in the weeks of December and presented them to our audience. We also had practiced some dramas that we then performed in front of them- it was great fun and everyone really liked it!
Afterwards of cause Santa Clause needed to visit us and we were all waiting to see what he brought for us and who was hiding behind the mask. In fact we had even two Santa Clauses who came with three bags of gifts. Every child got a present and Santa Claus even danced for us. In the end we all tried to guess who the Santa Clauses were and finally unveiled the truth- It was one of the teachers and a student who had graduated from our school last year.

So, all in all we had a really nice day and everyone was celebrating Christmas together.  One other reason why the kids might have been so happy could be that the Christmas holidays started after the celebrations and they have to return to school only after new year’s…

We hope you had a great Christmas celebration and spend a wonderful time with your familys.
Belated merry Christmas and a happy new year for all of you!

Vidyodaya Schoo

Blog 6 from Wansdyke Primary School

December 20th, 2013

Hello, here is our final blog! This week we have been performing our play and doing lots of fun Christmas activities. On Monday and Tuesday our parents, carers and families came to school to watch our play. We really enjoyed performing and our grown ups enjoyed watching it! The show was called Panto Pandemonium and it was about lots of different stories from traditional pantomimes.

On Tuesday we all had a traditional Christmas dinner in the hall. We had Christmas crackers and all wore paper hats. There was Christmas music playing and all the teachers sat with us to eat their dinner too.

On Wednesday we had parties. We had 4 different activities and we moved around to each classroom in KS2 to do each activity. We played a game where you had to roll the dice and if you got a ‘6’ you had to go into the middle; put on hat, scarf and gloves and then spoon cotton wool from one bowl to another until someone else got a 6! In the next room we had party food that we had all brought in, the third room we acted out charades for each other to guess, and the final room was a disco where we danced and played musical statues!

We really enjoyed reading your blog and it was nice to know the things you are doing for Christmas. We haven’t made a nativity from clay but we do have a nativity scene in school that one of the younger children’s grandparents knitted from wool.

We have really enjoyed writing to you over the last 6 weeks and we hope to hear from you again soon. We wish you all a happy Christmas and we hope you enjoy all of you activities you are doing at school.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Cherries!

Blog 5 Wansdyke Primary School

December 16th, 2013

This week we have been working really hard on our Christmas play, we performed a dress rehearsal to the children in KS1 which went really well!

We have done lots of Science this week finding out about circuits and electricity. We thought about lots of ways to make sure we are safe around electricity and some of the things we shouldn’t do; such as putting fingers in sockets or overloading sockets. We carried out several investigations using circuits. We tested materials to see if they were electrical conductors or electrical insulators, we added bulbs to one circuit and we added batteries to another circuit. When we added bulbs we found out that they all get dimmer as they have to share the electricity. When we added batteries to a circuit the bulb got brighter until there was too much electricity and then the bulb blew.

We looked at 2 more artefacts in the bag: one was the rice strainer. We weren’t sure what it was , we thought it might be a: sieve, instrument, plate, Frisbee, something to put tea bags on or a mat to put your cup on. We also looked at the pictures and the writing on the calendar.

In our classroom we have a Christmas tree. We have decorated it with lights and baubles. We have also made a paper chain out of strips of paper.

We have been learning lots of Christmas songs over the last few weeks and this week some of us were chosen to go, with some teachers, to sing at a local supermarket. It was really lovely, lots of people watched us and we raised lots of money.

We are really enjoying all our Christmas preparations and we can’t wait to perform to our grown ups next week! We will send you a photo of us performing!

From the Cherries

Christmas Preparations

December 13th, 2013

Dear friends!
We are sure you are as busy with your Christmas preparations as we are, so please excuse that we missed the last update.
Around Christmas time there are lots of things to do and we in the Vidyodaya School have a lot to practice and to plan!
In December we started practicing many Christmas Carols, like “Jingle Bells”, “O’ Come all ye children” or “Joy to the world”. Each class will perform one of the Carols on Christmas and sometimes the younger kids will even dance or make moves with the songs.
Yesterday we started another project- making little figures from the Christmas-story from clay.
We will get the mud from the holes that crabs make in the ground, near the rice fields and then we add some water and mix it. Then we use the clay to form krip-figures from it.

It was a lot of fun to play with the mud and try to make an angel, a camel or the baby Jesus from clay. Now the figures have to dry and then we are going to paint them and on the day before Christmas we’ll put them all in a big krip which we will build from straw and sticks by ourselves.
Have you ever made krip-figures from clay?
Another very important thing is the Santa Claus costume! It has been lying around in a dusty chamber since last year so we had to wash it and re-stitch some parts of it.
Some of us also made a list what ingredients we need to back enough Christmas-cakes for all the children and teachers in our school- that’s a lot, but it’s going to be very tasty!
Now some of our older kids will write their own drama for Christmas! They are going to practice it and on Christmas they will perform it for all of us.
To have a Christmas tree, we will cut many branches from the trees and tie stars around it.
Of course the Christmas presents are very important as well and we sometimes hear the teachers whispering about what they are going to give us for Christmas… we are looking very much forward to find out what Santa brings for us kids!

Until then we better watch out, we better not cry and we’ll finish all our preparations and practice the songs and drama well- no one knows who might be watching us..?!
Have a nice and not too busy time before Christmas and have fun with all your preparations!

You’ll hear from us soon!
Bye! :)