Indian Embassies around the world have been working continuously to help out the diaspora in difficult times due to coronavirus pandemic. After the Indian Embassy in Hungary cancelled all direct classes and events as a precautionary measure, the Indian Culture Centre announced online courses and made it available on social media platforms immediately.
The embassy took the lead in turning to social media platforms to teach about Indian culture while the residents remain under complete lockdown. The Indian Culture Centre developed modules suitable for sharing online which includes courses taught by Indians as well as Hungarian teachers.
The courses taught by Indian teachers at the Amrita Sher-Gil Culture Centre, named after the eminent Hungarian-Indian painter of early 20th century, include Yoga, traditional classical dance Kathak, and Tabla. The other four weekly courses, including dance forms like Bharatnatyam and Odissi, are taught by trained Hungarian teachers.
The Indian teachers have been frequently uploading fresh videos based on the lesson plans and have also been conducting Skype lessons and Facebook Live sessions. They are even using WhatsApp video chats to solve academic queries and problems of the students.
Anuja Shankar, Director & First Secretary of Amrita Sher-Gil Cultural Centre, said that the students are worried about the prevailing challenges due to coronavirus and there is a feeling of “anxiety, fear and despondency”. She added that the daily video lessons not only keep them abreast with their courses, but also help them remain calm, relaxed and de-stressed.
The teachers record their videos and edit it before uploading on the social media platforms of the embassy and sharing with the students. Each teacher does Facebook Live once in a week which is open for general viewers as well where they interact and ask queries related to the subject.
“In these distressing times, I am able to connect with my students on a very different level. Challenge is bigger, but the connectivity is also huge. I have become more sensitive towards their conditions and problems and I am able to understand their needs,” said Ankita Sood, Yoga teacher.