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Attachment: Press Release with pictures in pdf format
Speaking in Sanskrit Gains Momentum
San Bernardino Valley– It was a family camp filled with SamskritaPriyA (Sanskrit Lovers) - software professionals, young couples, parents with children ranging from toddlers to teens, a few grandparents with a lot of interest in reviving Sanskrit as a spoken language. The Narmadaa '08, the first residential camp of Southern California, was held during the Memorial Day weekend near LA in the misty cocoons of Camp Nawakwa in San Bernardino Valley.
The 3-day camp was organized by Samskrita Bharati USA, which is part of the Samskrita Bharati in India, an organization focused on popularizing "the language of the gods" as a modern-day spoken language. The camp had experienced teachers from India like Sri Vasuvaj Easwaramangalam from Samskrita Bharati, Bangalore and Smt. Sita Saripalli, retired professor of Sanskrit from Vijayawada, with a strong support by an able team of teachers living in the US.
With almost 70 participants from the 4 states of Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada, there were beginner classes for the uninitiated taught in an accessible way leading up to higher levels for those more familiar with speaking Sanskrit. The classes were well timed to coincide with the ones tailored for the children, making it easy for the parents to focus on improving their language skills. And while it was a 'study-camp', the organized activities included yoga, hiking, games, skits and bhajan sessions before and after classes, making it a more interesting and interactive camp than one could have imagined. Not to forget chef Madhukar's tasty and healthy food that kept everyone at the camp warm and energized to make the Samskritam Camp of Southern California a great success. Like Nithya, a first-time participant, summed it up, "The location was beautiful and calm and it was really nice to learn Samskritam is such a light, entertaining and interactive way."
Keeping this momentum going for the coming months, Samskrita Bharati USA has planned several more residential camps like the Samskritam Youth Camp for ages 12-16 called "Shraddhaa" from June 22nd - 28th in Saylorsburg, PA followed by the West Coast Youth Camp from July 9th - 13th, near San Francisco, CA. Thereafter, the 2008 calendar concludes with another family camp in the New Jersey area for the Labor Day weekend.