On the fringes of the Ecumenical Church Congress 2003 in Berlin, the teacher Kiran Horo and the representative of the school committee of the Lutheran High School Chaibasa, the Lutheran bishop Hansda, did also visit the Mahatma Gandhi School in Berlin Marzahn. Students took care of the other guests of this church congress too, the Anglican bishop Terom and the Catholic archbishop cardinal Toppo.
In summer 2005, five youths and teachers of the LHSC visited Berlin. Our Indian friends were accommodated in guest families. They learned a lot about culture, lifestyle and school in Germany. So they enriched the lessons by discussions and with a PowerPoint presentation on Mahatma Gandhi.
Together with students from the Gandhi School and representatives of the Ecumencial Forum Berlin Marzahn, they went on a trip to the German ‘Bundestag’ (the parliament), where they spoke about the situation of the Adivasi in India with Sebatian Edathy, the chairman of the German Indian parliamentary group.
During an event in the Indian Embassy, they presented the partnership relations of the Lutheran Schools to the Mahatma Gandhi School, together with representatives of the Indian Forum.
The visits to a composting plant and to social projects made a special impression on them. Here in Germany they decided to get active themselves, and so they founded the organization ‘Reyad Umbul’ after their return to India.
After a three year break, we finally managed to get a group of Indian students, teachers and priests to Berlin again in 2008. So there were six Indian friends staying in Berlin Marzahn from the 29th of May to the 21st of June 2008 as guests of the Tagore School, the church district, the Ecumenical Forum and of course the Indian Forum: three (former) students of the Lutheran Compound Chaibasa, two priests and one teacher, three women and three men.
During the week their accommodation was the ‘Haus Pro Social’ at the Blumberger Damm in Northern Biesdorf. On the weekends the guests stayed in different families.
Besides many days at the Tagore School, a bunch of trips and tours was also on the plan of course. Amongst other things, the sewage works in Wassmannsdorf has been visited, the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen, the German parliament and the Chorin monastery. A two day trip to the Spreewald (Spree forest), including visits at the Sorbs and at an open pit mine for brown coal, could also be realized. In addition the group got to know Berlin from all of its good and bad sites.
But above all, there was enough time for interpersonal contacts. Every minute of ‘free time’ apart from the tight program was used for meeting old and new friends and on the weekends private trips were organized, for example to the International Aviation and Space Exhibition, to Martin Luther town Wittenberg or to do a canoe tour.
In September 2011 a school delegaton from Shantiniketan, West-Bengal, Indien visited the Tagore School in Berlin Marzahn. Besides actively accompanying this partnership journey, the Indian Forum had alvo invited an Indian primary school teacher, Mrs Gargi Ghosh.
While the official visitors from the Shantiniketan school, which had been founded by Rabindranath Tagore himself, went on with their own programme at the Tagore School in Marzahn, Mrs Ghosh spent most of her time in primary schools in the same district.
During one week each, she teached Indian dances, songs and poems of Tagore to students of the Peter Pan Primary School and the “Unter dem Regenbogen” Primary School. Sebastian Keller accompanied and assisted Mrs Ghosh during her entire stay.
Highlight of the visit was the final ceremony at the Tagore School on 23rd September 2011, during which trees were planted and the primary school students presented their dances and songs.