Stick it out with the Warli tribe

Published: Nov 01, 2012, 09:44 IST | Soma Das |

With Diwali vacations around the corner, we suggest you get your kid into camp mode with a fun, enriching experience at Vintage Village rural kids camp. Located in Thane's Valwanda village, kids can learn Warli art from tribals, dance, etch Rangolis, chop wood and grind rice, and even learn to shake a leg, Warli style!

For city-bred kids who spend more time on their PlayStations than enjoying the outdoors, the idea of heading to a village may seem like a culture shock. Precisely the idea behind the Vintage Village Camp (three days-four nights) organised by Sweet Memories.

The camp takes children to Valwanda village located in Jawhar block of Thane district (105 km from Mumbai en route to Ahmedabad). Warli tribals, who are famous for their ancient drawings and vibrant dance forms, inhabit the tribal village. At the camp, children will learn the intricacies of Warli art from the tribals, and will focus on Diwali motifs in particular.

Warli art

This apart, treks, meals at villager’s homes, tribal dance and Rangoli sessions, and nature-based activities such as wood chopping and rice grinding will form part of the camp. Formed in 2005, Sweet Memories has been hosting adventure camps and riverside camps for kids; this is their first rural kids camp. Sheetal Pasad, founder and director of Sweet Memories says, “We were doing research on destinations and came across the tribal village Valwanada. We got the idea to promote rural tourism through this venture. Through the camp, the tribals who reside there are also benefited, as they generate income through this initiative.”

Tree climbing

Pasad adds that learning Warli art from the tribals will be a unique experience for children and help them broaden their perspective. “Warli art originated from here. In a nutshell, they paint what they live; their lifestyle is portrayed through Warli works.” As their tagline Live Warli, Paint Warli mentions, the focus is on living the life of a villager during the camp. “And, since the tribals themselves are the creators of the art, it’s not mere bookish knowledge that they will be imparting to the kids but a knowledge of their true culture. A rural camp can help children understand the basic needs of a poor villager. Plus, with the nuclear family concept, many families don’t even have or visit their native-places.”

Grinding rice

The instructors will include the 41-year-old Lahuwagh, who is a farmer and has been practicing Warli art for 15 years and 29-year-old farmer, Dinesh Rao, who has been learning this art for six years.

Chopping of wood

Village Wonders
For indoor fun
>> A savory meal at a villager’s home
>> Vibrant dance forms
>> Diwali Rangoli and celebrations
>> Applying cowdung on the floor
>> Grinding rice / grains
For outdoor lovers
> Short village orientation
>> Trekking
>> Techniques of building eco-friendly homes
>> Riverside fun including river swim
>> Visit to Jawahar King’s Palace
>> Bonfire
>> Chopping wood
>> Learning about medicinal plants
>> Learning about trees, animals, insects
>> Mountain trekking
>> Bird watching
>> Village games like Lagori and Kho-Kho 

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