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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

American students' delegation visits Villupuram college, highlighting rituals, festivals

Villupuram, 7th September: A batch of 11 students—five boys and six girls—from Davidson College, North Carolina, U.S, led by William Mahony, visited Theivanai Ammal College for Women here recently.

In the words of Mr Mahony, the delegation had come here as part of the student exchange programme to mainly focus on three issues: Indian history, contemporary issues relating to women and health conditions.

Addressing the students and faculty, Mr Mahony said that ignorance was the primary cause for the ills afflicting society, including terrorism. If ignorance were dispelled through education it would lead to harmonious living and prosperity.

He further noted that both Theivanai Ammal College and the Davidson College shared the laudable principle of serving society. Mr Mahony hailed Theivanai Ammal College founder and Chairman E. Swamikannu for his vision in setting up the institution in a rural area with a view to promote literacy among women.

Mr Swamikannu said that from his boyhood days he was impressed by the functioning of the US government. The student exchange programme between the two colleges was in tune with the saying of Tamil poet Kaniyan Poongonranar that “all places are ours and all are relatives,” that reflected the universal nature of human relationship.

College secretary S. Senthilkumar said that the college was in its 21st year and had grown impressively during this period.. He highlighted the unique features of India that might interest the delegates.

Principal Kasthuribai Dhanasekaran gave an overview on the performance of the college that had acquired autonomous status. During the interaction, the students exchanged their views on a wide range of topics, including admission procedures, scholarships offered, job prospects and course contents.

To a query about their visit, the visiting students said that they were quite impressed by the way the immigrant Indians were living in the USA. Hence, they had come to see the place which they called their “home.” Some of them had read about India and they wanted to experience the country in person.

They expressed delight over the warm reception accorded to them. Later, the guests were treated to the cultural programmes highlighting the marriage rituals of various communities and festivals.


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