26-01-2017, 1215 hours, Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India:
After a hot cup of tea with biscuits (something cherished by everybody present here), the ceremony continued with the school children and other volunteers (including a few policemen and locals) who sang patriotic songs, performed dances, and gave speeches in a room where we have been seated for the Republic Day celebrations. The performances are charged and amazing to watch! The mesmerising Traditional Spiti dances performed by the girl students deserve special mention.
While most of the schools in hill stations have winter vacations during this period of the year, the schools here are open during the winter period, as during the summer months everybody ( including the teachers, students and locals) is busy working in the fields to produce enough food grain that lasts throughout the year, until the next harvest. This requires a lot of hard work and every hand in the house, as there is a small window of about 6-7 months during which all agricultural activities have to be done, after which nothing can be grown here during the other half of the year, when the conditions are cold and harsh.