Songs of Spring     
                              May 2010    
Be My Muse...
Legend has it that the call of grief produced by a male Saras Crane upon the loss of its female partner inspired Valmiki to compose the epic Ramayana
In our modern day, we are more atune to the mechanical sounds of blenders and buses than to the sweeter sounds of winds and songbirds.  Perhaps this is a learned response to our busy demanding lifestyle...
As the birds of spring sing their songs this month, encourage your kids to really listen and become knowledgeable about the sounds in their environment by observing and labeling.  You never know what can inspire them to compose their own magnum opus!
 Bird Call Bingo

Children have an impressive ability to distinguish between fine variations in tone and pitch - a skill that, sadly, dulls are they age.  We can encourage them to develop and sharpen their listening skills through simple exercises.  We've put together an activity to get kids to tune into some of the most inspiring sounds of nature: bird calls! After a few rounds, your kids will be able to distinguish between cardinals, sparrows, finches and doves. Read more...   
And for those of you who have spent time in India, ornithologist Sharad Apte has compiled the calls of over 240 species of Indian birds on his website . Perhaps some of the sounds will conjure memories of your childhood! Learn more... 
 Dharma Chakra

The 8-spoked Dharma Chakra, or "Wheel of Dharma(Law)" is globally recognized as a symbol for Buddhism - representing the Noble Eightfold Path.  (It's also an important symbol in Jainism and Hinduism - Hindus say that the chakra was Lord Brahma's gift to Buddha when he attained enlightenment.)
Buddha Purnima is celebrated this month - to celebrate Buddha's birth, enlightenment and attainment of Nirvana.  Learn more about the Dharma Chakra... 
 Peacock Dance!

                Peacock Princess                Wooing
The peacock may be the national bird of India, but the best human rendition of the bird's dance is from neighboring China.  Yang Liping is known around the world as the Peacock Princess - and you can see her superb self-taught dance here.  Be sure to pay attention to her mesmerizing arm movements.
Have your kids compare Ms. Yang's dance to the real thing and see which one they like better! 
Multi-Cultural Musings
The latest from our blog:
Apr 26:  Bale, Bale Bangalore!
           Website Ever
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Our guest blogger this month is sure to make you smile! Visit us during the week of May 17th.
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Time to Celebrate! 
May 9:   R.Tagore Jayanti
May 16:  Akshaya Tritiya
May 27:  Buddha Purnima
"Accept that some days you are the pigeon, and some days you are the statue."
 -- Dilbert
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