The first couple of hours at work were spent outside at the Friday Kuyam Dance in the school’s amphitheater area. Altars were erected, fabric was draped everywhere, candles were lit, and special books were opened to certain passages. All the children and their parents were seated while the Director welcomed them and read from the books. The music teacher came to the microphone and led everyone in singing the school’s anthem. After some meditation and giving of thanks, the Director broke the bread. No, wait… there wasn’t any bread.

More songs were sung by all, then the dance numbers began. All the parents filed down the stairs to the lower level and assembled in an orderly manner. The drama teacher stood in front of them and began to teach them dance steps before the music teacher turned on the music. I watched 86 pairs of adults getting jiggy with it to Jump and Thriller. I tried to get a photo with my phone, but really couldn’t capture the essence that is Kuyam (an old Indian word that means “Classic hits of the 1980’s”).

The more exciting moment of the day came later in the afternoon when a 4th grade girl discovered that an entire jar of paste had been emptied inside her backpack. The paste-covered culprit was easily discovered, though the girl continued to deny any involvement until her father came to get her.


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