Colourful frocks, exotic dances and flavoursome foods set the tone of a huge Bollywood-themed school party in Hayling Island.
Campus Day, a celebration organised by Mill Rythe Juniors to share with neighbouring Mill Rythe Infants and Nursery Rhymes, was a roaring success.
Hundreds of youngsters came together to celebrate aspects of Indian culture through theatre, food, art and dance – and enjoy each other’s company.
The event opened with a large procession as all the children in Indian costume walked around the school grounds.
Then pupils broke into Bollywood song, staged plays and puppet shows based on Indian mythology and indulged in elephant face-painting, Hindu drawing, spicy nibbles, Bollywood dancing and much more.
Pheobe Wellbelove, 10, says: ‘I really enjoyed the Bollywood dancing because it is very expressive but at the same time controlled.
‘My dress was beautiful. It was purple with green jewels and the trousers were really funny – tight around the ankles but very loose on the thighs.
‘I think it’s great that we had the opportunity to explore such a wonderful culture, especially through plays which had very strong moral lessons.’
Chloe Potter, nine, says: ‘I had never danced in front of an audience before but now I’ve asked my mum if I can join a dancing class.
‘The whole day was lovely and it was good to mix with children from the infant school and nursery. I’d love to learn more about Indian and other cultures.’
Calliope Wellbelove, nine, says: ‘It’s exciting to find out about how other people dance, eat and live. I really enjoyed the Rangoli pattern drawing which is symmetrical and very beautiful.’
Layla Lee, 11, says: ‘Campus Day is all about having fun and giving the younger children something to enjoy and look forward to.
‘Exploring Indian culture was very different to anything I’ve done before, but it was so interesting.’
Sue Cox, the school’s admin officer who organised the event, adds: ‘The idea is to celebrate the Mill Rhythe campus and forge closer links between the schools while at the same time having fun.
‘The day was fantastic and surpassed all my expectations. It’s been a privilege to work with such talented youngsters.’