Banks and Braes

They keep telling us that cricket is a national obsession here in India. So I’ll say that we were clean bowled by the warmth of our welcome when we visited Christ Church Girls High School this morning. It’s not that one isn’t treated with respect at home – it’s just that the secular society is so different. So instead of having to do a bit of waving to get noticed, we were feted as if we really mattered – greeting with flowers, conch shells and choir.

The photo shows some of the dance from the performance which the girls gave – representing creation spoilt and redeemed and ending with a section danced to ‘Ye banks and braes ….. ‘ Scotland is everywhere here. My pithy words of thanks were translated into Bengali – because this is a Bengali-medium school.

We got the chance to do a bit of talking with the staff – and to ask how things are and how they are changing. And the conversation turned to how their children are – how shall we say it – beginning to become like our children. Discipline problems are beginning to appear … they are about to employ a school counsellor. The reasons which they suggested for this sounded close to home – even if a little non-PC in our terms – the loss of extended family networks … families with both parents working. No doubt cultural infections from the global village have something to do with it as well.

It was a fascinating visit – with much to think about in terms of what school chaplaincy means in this situation and at home