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India, Veda's children
2014

South India, in Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala, the Vadakke Madham Brahmaswam Vedic Research Centre is one of the oldest Vedic schools in the world.
Students are learning the Vedas, a body of sacred texts written in Vedic Sanskrit and verbally passed on through the Brahmans (at the origin of the texts).

Claude Pauquet met and photographed students aged 7 to 15 intending to be Veda’s teacher or to have a monastic life.
Topless, they wear the Dohtî (a traditional dress from South India) and the Vajnopavitam, a sacred cord they wear from the left shoulder to the right hip.
After the morning ablutions, children devote themselves to different rituals and Vedas chanting, required for the learning process. To respect the sound of each word, participants are learning since childhood complicated pronunciations based on the tonal accent. This is a unique way to pronounce each letter and specific combinations of speech. The transmission method is done orally or by using mnemonics, word per word and syllable per syllable.

Hindus consider the Vedas as the main source of knowledge and the sacred basis to their religion. Vedas embody one of the oldest cultural traditions still alive.
« The Vedic song tradition » entered the Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008 and is pursuing an important role into Indians' daily life. However, in India, only four schools are still teaching Vedas.

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