Student Reflections: Kochi Trip

In the month of February, Grade 9 students visited Kochi, a beautiful city located on the southwest coast of India. The city has a rich history and a unique culture that is a blend of Indian, Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences. During the trip, they visited many exciting places that gave them a glimpse into the city’s rich past and vibrant present. One of the first places they visited was the St. George Forane Church and St. Francis CSI Church, two iconic churches in Kochi that are renowned for their architectural beauty and historical significance. They visited the Hill Palace Museum. The museum is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. Fort Kochi is an area in the city that has a rich history of Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences. You got to explore the streets and see the iconic Chinese fishing nets. Another exciting place they visited was Alleppey Beach, which is located on the Arabian Sea coast. The beach is known for its pristine white sand and crystal-clear waters.
While on the trip students were involved in an array of activities. The students along with their small group teachers shot a music video inspired by the regional languages from southern India in the Fort Kochi area. Watching a live demonstration of Kalaripayattu would have given them a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Kerala and an understanding of the martial art form’s techniques and movements. It’s a unique experience that not many people get to witness, so one should feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to see it firsthand. One of the highlights of our trip was the Kochi Biennale, an international exhibition of contemporary art that takes place every two years. The exhibition features works of art from some of the world’s most renowned artists and provides an opportunity for visitors to experience art in a unique and immersive way. They also participated in a beach clean-up drive at Cherai, which is located near Kochi, and helped in keeping the beach clean and free from litter.
Going on a trip can provide a unique opportunity to learn new skills and broaden your knowledge in various areas. Working in a group requires effective communication skills to convey ideas, listen to others, and coordinate efforts. In creating a music video or an art installation, it is essential to communicate the concept and vision effectively, discuss and resolve differences, and give and receive feedback constructively. Creating a music video or an art installation requires creativity and innovation to come up with original and engaging ideas. In the case of the art installation, being inspired by one of the art installations visited at the Kochi Biennale requires developing an eye for art and creativity in using the available resources to create something unique. Watching and participating in a live demonstration of Kalaripayattu requires physical and mental agility. A beach clean-up makes them environmentally aware. Developing a sense of social responsibility helps to mould our students into true global citizens. These skills and experiences are closely aligned with pedagogical objectives in B.D. Somani.

Overall, the school trip to Kochi was a memorable experience that exposed the students to the city’s rich history, culture, and art. The places they visited provided them with a glimpse into the city’s past and present and left them with lasting memories of a beautiful city.

Student Reflections

I had been excited about this trip for a long long time.

The trip started off with around 60 sleepy hungry teenagers and just 6 teachers to control them. From the flight where we annoyed random people to the beach to the room, everything was worth the time and money. It was not only an educational trip. Although we learned so much about the history of Kerela, and the different dynasties that ruled it, and got a lot of knowledge on art, we also had a lot of fun. We went shopping, to beaches, and made music videos.

on art, we also had a lot of fun. We went shopping, to beaches, and made music videos. It really brought together the creative and academic side of you with the fun and competitive side. One of the most important lessons I feel was staying alone. I know that there were around 60 people with me but, I still, stayed alone for almost a week without any family. That seemed scary. But the teachers made us feel so at home with all the food, comfort, and activities they made us do. Personally, I think it was a lovely trip, I would definitely do it again.

The Kochi trip was a well-balanced experience of enjoyment as well as learning. This was not academic learning but, in fact, the absorption of cultural, historical, and societal information which was evident in almost every place we visited. From the wonderful and historic architecture of Saint George Forane’s Church to the colourful and exuberant nature of houses all lined up on a small street. The well-rounded nature of our trip was completely credited to the choice of locations we visited which gave us an idea of Kochi as a whole in a meager 5 days. Boat rides in Kochi’s canals and rivers allowed us to view the city from a peaceful perspective. Visiting Fort Kochi transported us into a different world and we learned about the Kochi dynasty’s history and much more. The Kochi Biennale displayed artistic masterpieces for us to admire. Our visit to Hill Palace spoke about the rise of Kochi as a city and showed us the ancient Kochi lifestyle. Throughout the trip, we also went to several museums to observe Kochi’s culture. Apart from the places we visited, the activities planned by the teachers were engaging and brought out the best in all of us. The budget activity at the mall was designed for us to interpret the artworks at the Biennale and showcase it in our own way. A music video contest and a quiz were organised which were simply amazing. The talent show was as fun as ever and everybody had a blast. Overall, the Kochi trip was a memorable one and I am sure nobody will ever forget it.

The Kochi trip was one we all awaited. It was definitely an eye-opening experience as we saw a whole new side of Indian culture and history through a series of Kochi’s unique landmarks. By visiting extravagant churches, and palaces and by going to a variety of new places it's safe to say that we all were exposed to the cultural diversity of south India. The biennale art fair opened our eyes to modern art. Throughout the trip, we developed a multitude of vital life skills, some of them being - bargaining, teamwork, and creativity. Let's just say, bargaining was a skill that we have to put into practice. All in all this trip was the perfect mix of learning and enjoyment as not only did we thoroughly enjoy ourselves and bond with each other a bit more but also came out with a different perspective on Indian culture and knowledge regarding different topics spanning various fields.

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