Sanskrit: Kellyville teacher makes cultural connection made fun

Sharing knowledge: Akila Ramarathinam teaches Sanskrit to siblings Carmila, Shivani and Krishan Chant. Picture: Geoff Jones

Sharing knowledge: Akila Ramarathinam teaches Sanskrit to siblings Carmila, Shivani and Krishan Chant. Picture: Geoff Jones

Ancient Sanskrit has found a place with a younger generation in western Sydney.

Sanskrit teacher Akila Ramarathinam, of Kellyville, said the language was an integral part of The Vishva Hindu Parishad of Australia's community language school's annual day of celebrations on Sunday.

The event included drama, songs, chanting and poetry recitals by students from both the Bala Samskar Kendra and Sydney Veda Patasala schools.

Mrs Ramarathinam said the Sunday language schools had grown to more than 110 students from areas including Glenwood, Toongabbie and Baulkham Hills.

"Initially we started just for children," she said.

"Many migrants from Fiji and Sri Lanka didn't have the opportunity to learn this ancient language in their country, so we now have a session for parents also."

Mrs Ramarathinam said the classes also built students' confidence and self-esteem, making it easier for them to learn other languages.

"Being bilingual is an asset for our younger generation, not only in getting employment in various parts of the world," Mrs Ramarathinam said.

"Sanskrit is the mother of all languages, even Indo-European languages, so our children can connect to their heritage and their roots."

Year 12 student Carmila Chant began Sanskrit classes four years ago and now teaches younger students the language.

"For me Sanskrit classes provide a balance to my activities because I'm so focused on school," she said.

"It really helps me relax my mind and focus on other things, and also helps me to connect back to my culture."

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