Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: October 7, 2009 5:07:58 AM PDT
WWU graduate to screen film on school in Indian Himalayas Oct. 21

Contact: David Curley, Chair, Department of Liberal Studies, (360) 650-6875 or david.curley@wwu.edu

Image courtesy of Chad Robertson

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University political science graduate Chad Robertson will screen his film “Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye—Knowledge is that which Liberates” from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, in Communications Facility Room 115 on the WWU campus.

“Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye” provides a fascinating look inside Ashram Paryavaran Vidyalaya, a school in the Indian Himalayas dedicated to providing holistic, child-centered education to local village children. Robertson learned Hindi and spent a year at the school before making this film.

The film takes us through a day in the life of the school. We peer into classrooms and singing assemblies, we sit in on meditation gatherings, we see boisterous children at play.

The school offers an exciting example of educational reform in an area plagued by poor public schools. Teaching children to perform traditional music and providing opportunities for developing awareness through meditation are essential to its program. All teachers and students start the day with a half hour of meditation. Teachers live together in an ashram located above the school and share responsibility with students for daily chores. Students help to teach other students.

Robertson graduated in 2006 from WWU with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in study of religion. He has shown his film in Jaipur, India; at the Minnesota Studies in International Development; at the Jackson School of the University of Washington; and at the Contemplative Studies Initiative at Brown University.

Robertson will be available for questions after the screening until 8:30 p.m. The screening is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the WWU Department of Liberal Studies, with interest and support from Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies and from Woodring College of Education. For more information, contact David Curley, chair of the Department of Liberal Studies, at (360) 650-6875 or david.curley@wwu.edu.

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