The students of Grade 5 recently went on a field trip to Bylakuppe, which is a small town with a settlement of Tibetan refugees. The purpose of the trip was to learn about migration and its influence. It was a five-hour drive from our school and the students were very excited to witness the life of refugees closely. Our first stop in Bylakuppe was a Tibetan school where we all went to different classes of the school and interviewed the Tibetan children. We asked questions to gather their views about not being able to visit their own country when it was at war.

Following the conversation with the students, the founder of the school spoke to us about his motivations to start school. We learned that the core objective of the school was to educate the refugee children even when they are in a foreign land. He also told us that the Tibetan population has gradually declined after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. We felt very proud when he told us that India is the only country which has accepted Tibetan refugees and treated them as their own.

Later, we went to a monastery (a Buddhist temple), which was very beautifully built. There is a statue in the centre of one of the walls of Gautam Buddha- the founder of Buddhism. This statue is flanked by beautifully crafted dragons on either side.

These dragons symbolize power and courage which are the core tenets of Buddhism. We were told that the temple was built once the Tibetan community had settled down in the area.

Finally, we headed back to Bangalore at around 5 pm after a long, but exciting day of learning which we will all remember for a very long time.

Navya Khandelwal (G5-A)

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