Bollywood is (show) Business! (Drama & Indian Film Industry):
Did you know the Indian film industry is the largest film industry in the world (>1000 movies produced per year!)? Movies are watched not only by those in India and the Indian diaspora, but certain movies were huge hits in countries like China. Fun fact: Bollywood isn’t India’s only movie center! Non-Bollywood, non-Hindi films are proving to be very popular in India and outside of India. Why is this? In this course we will examine the creative and business side of Indian movies. We will focus on the largest Indian-movie center, Bollywood, and develop some of our own recommendations on how to make the next Bollywood hit! Be prepared to think like producers, directors, designers and actors in what elements make a great movie for both Indian and non-Indian audiences!
Debate is a skill necessary in all walks of life! In this class, kids will be exposed to the fundamentals of how to argue, speak persuasively and advocate for their beliefs. The format of engaging in a debate (proposition, opposition, opening/closing remarks, etc) will give kids an introduction to what it’s like to be part of a school debate team. Topics will be focused on Indian culture & identity, and cultural norms in Indian society in America today.
Electronics have become a fundamental part of our world. These often unseen systems shape every aspect of the way we live, work and play. India has a rich history of contributions to computer science and technical engineering, and Indian innovators have contributed to many of the electronics we rely on in our day-to-day lives. It’s time for a new generation of technical experts to start their journey to develop solutions for the problems of an ever-changing world! In this class, campers will gain exposure to common microcontroller electronics through live demonstration and hands-on experimentation. No prior knowledge required.
Engineering Wonders of India:
From brick layering to metal production to the creation of irrigation systems, the Indus Valley Civilization was a major contributor to modern engineering and construction concepts. In this enrichment class, campers will learn about India’s contribution to the world of engineering while creating their own monuments and structures.
From BSE to Nasdaq - the ABC’s of Investing:
Mumbai is the economic capital of India, and home to the Bombay Stock Exchange. What drives India’s economy? How does the stock exchange work? How do the principles of investing change between India and the US? These are all questions we will discuss and learn about as we go on a journey to understand India’s economy and investing ecosystem. Campers will engage in games and simulation activities to understand what happens when you activate different investing strategies.
From Turmeric to Tea - The Magic of Ayurvedic Medicine:
Indian families have passed along home remedies to common ailments for generations. Whether it’s turmeric to heal a wound or ginger tea to cure a stomach ache, our ancestors practiced ayurveda using common ingredients found in the kitchen. In this “cooking meets science” class, campers will learn about the different doshas or mind-body patterns that each one of us has, and prepare foods using ingredients that have healing properties and create balance in our bodies.
India Shines Bright Like a Diamond:
The diamond, gold and gemstone industries of India are a goldmine, literally, for the country! Did you know India is the top exporter of diamonds, the second largest exporter of silver, and the fourth largest for gold? In this course, campers will learn about the gemstone industry in India and its rich history. They will get a better understanding of the business of jewelry making - from raw gems to design to production and exporting. They will gain an appreciation for the cultural importance of gemstones to Indians in how they represent astrological signs and values. And of course, there will be fun and interactive activities related to gems.
Rocketry & Space Exploration:
We’ve all heard of NASA. But do campers know the contributions of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) to the advancement of space exploration? Through ISRO, India was the first nation to launch 10 satellites on one rocket. Can our campers launch a successful rocket into space? Let’s find out in this enrichment class, where campers will have the opportunity to build and launch rockets using the same principles followed by NASA and ISRO.
Shark Tank: IFNet Entrepreneurs:
You are not imagining it. CEOs of Indian origin are on the rise. Until recently, there were only a handful, but today, we see Indian CEOs in industries from tech to retail, beauty to luxury goods. In this enrichment class, we will review business basics, look at the ever-growing list of successful Indian business leaders and develop our own entrepreneurial ideas to pitch to the class.
Strike a Pose: The Origins of Yoga:
Yoga, now a worldwide phenomenon, comes from India and can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago. The word yoga was first mentioned in ancient sacred texts called the Rig Veda. This class will focus on the fascinating elements of yoga including the eightfold path and the 4 classifications of yoga. Campers will explore aspects of the body, mind, intellect, and emotion, coming away from class with their own daily practice of yoga and mindful breathing techniques.
The Times of IFNet (Journalism):
What do Sanjay Gupta, Fareed Zakaria and Kevin Negandhi have in common? They are all Indian-American journalists working at major news organizations in America. This course will look at Indian-Americans in the industry and the stories they cover - and we’ll study the craft of journalism. We’ll learn the “how-to’s” of news/opinion writing, including interviewing skills and finding a good story. Participants in the class may create the first installment of the IFnet Newspaper - The Times of IFNet!
Vedic Traditions - Astrology, Palmistry & Numerology:
Explore some of the Vedic traditions that are the branches of magical sciences. Numerology dates back to the Vedas and deals with planets, their correlation with individual birth numbers, and their effect on the individual. Astrology was referenced in the Mahabharata over 5000 years ago and measures the effect of the planets on individuals. Palm reading assesses an individual's fate via the hand. Your destiny is in your hands!!!! In this course, campers will explore the origins of these ancient traditions and learn about their own astrological sign and horoscope - the Indian way!
ARTS & GAMES COURSES
Archery & Indian Stories:
Indian mythology comes from deeply valued stories that explain existence and society’s origins. They are exciting narratives that highlight complex heroes, longstanding morals, historical wars, and India’s connection to spirituality. In this class, campers will be exposed to and come out with a better understanding of popular mythology of India such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana and other stories. They will also personify mythological heroes like Arjun and Ram by learning and practicing archery skills.
Art: Henna & Indian Drawing:
In the first class of this course, we will expose campers to the ancient art form that is still practiced today by men and women, young and old, all over the world. These “tattoos” are a form of body art, associated with a distinctive deep orange-red color and intricate patterns on the hands, arms, legs, and feet. Kids will learn about this art form (history and cultural references) and practice designing henna patterns on one another. In the second class of this course, campers will have the opportunity to draw intricate designs on paper or canvas based on mehndi art to create their own masterpieces they can take home with them.
Budding chefs… this course is for you! Indian cooking is full of special ingredients and spices that add a burst of surprise into a dish. In this cooking class, campers will follow instructions to create simple dishes of Indian origin or popular in the Indian diaspora. Kids will get a chance to experiment with hands-on cooking and gain deeper insight into the masalas that make Indian food taste so good! Given the popularity of this class, we are offering two sections, so across all cohorts, anyone who wants to take Cooking will have the opportunity.
Creating Comics - Amar Chitra Katha style:
In 1967, Anant Pai founded Amar Chitra Katha to familiarize Indian children, across the world, with their roots. They created stories of India in comic/graphic novel form to make it easier to grasp complex stories simply. Many of the volunteers at IFNet grew up learning about Indian culture through Amar Chitra Katha. In this course, campers will not only explore mythological and moral-based stories written by Amar Chitra Katha, but they will have the chance to create their own story and characters and illustrate it in graphic-novel form. Who will be the new superheroes of IFNet and what morals will we learn from their stories? We can’t wait to see these new creations!
Dance - Bhangra:
Bhangra is an energetic folk dance originally performed by Punjabi farmers during the harvesting season. Its influence is felt around the world and has made appearances in America’s Got Talent, the London Olympics and even the White House! Campers in this enrichment class will learn choreography inspired by Bhangra and other folk dances from India, blended with modern hip hop and other dance moves. Campers will have the chance to perform the dance/piece they learn at the camp talent show (optional).
Dance - Bollywood:
Calling all boys and girls to the dance floor! Bollywood dancing is one of the most versatile dancing styles in the world and has tremendous international appeal - so popular it’s even featured on Dancing with the Stars, TikTok and the Oscars! Campers in this class will learn a choreographed Bollywood dance piece that will help them build fundamental skills while having a ton of fun! Participants in this enrichment class will have the chance to perform the dance/piece they learn at the camp talent show (optional).
From Fabrics to Fashion - Textile Industry & Batik Art:
Did you know the textile industry is one of the largest & oldest industries in India and represents 20% of the total production of textiles in the world? In this course, campers will learn about the history of the textile industry in India, follow the journey of fabric making from raw materials to garments, and make their own fabric using traditional batik/block printing art techniques. Campers will have the opportunity to showcase their textile art by putting together a fashion show as part of our end of week talent show.
Indian Games - Board Games:
There are many popular games that are played around the world that come from India. In this enrichment activity, kids will be introduced to a variety of games and their histories: carom has been a camp favorite, and this year we will combine carom learning and tournaments with another new board game. Some options include ludo/parcheesi, ashtapada, ali guli, lambs & tigers game, etc.
Indian Games - Card Games:
Given the popularity of this enrichment course, we are offering a second section of Indian Games - this one focused on card games originating from India. In this enrichment activity, kids will be introduced to a variety of card games and strategy games and their histories. Many regions in India have their own culture of card playing with their own variations to games. Options to consider in this class include rummy, coat-piece, 28 among others.
Indian Games - Chess:
The game of chess was born in India during the Gupta dynasty in the 6th century. From being a game for kings to a professional sport today, chess remains one of India’s top contributions to the world. In this course, campers will learn about the history of chess and chess players from India, understand the fundamentals of the game, and practice games leading to a chess tournament.
Indian Idol, Global Impact (Music):
Sure, you may know Chammak Challo, but how much can you really say about Indian music? Indian music is broad, encompassing a very wide and diverse set of styles from classical to modern pop across several different languages. Out of this very rich array, in this course we will focus specifically on perhaps the most popular style – Bollywood music. Bollywood music is an indispensable part of our culture that reflects the histories of our people. In this enrichment course, we will dive deep into how the evolution of Bollywood music has left us with the Bollywood hits that we all love today. We will also learn about the greater impact of traditional elements of Indian music and its influence on modern American pop music.
Bengal’s traditional community of potters are the Kumbhakars, and they engage in making everything from terracotta pots, toys, sculptures, wind chimes to temple panels. Using Camp Wicosuta’s pottery wheels and staff, campers will create different traditional pottery art related to Indian artifacts.