This Bengal school band becomes India’s first to perform at Swiss Basel Fest

For these boys from the government-aided Kumudini Home School in north Bengal’s Kalimpong, performing at the Basel Tattoo musical festival in Switzerland was a dream come true. However, it was not achieved overnight
Members of the Kumudini Home School band are mostly from poor and rural family backgrounds.  
Pramod Giri, HT, Jul 24, 2022: The bustling hilly-town of Kalimpong in north Bengal is all set to give its little heroes a grand welcome when they return from Basel in Switzerland on Monday.

Twenty students from the government-aided Kumudini Home School recently mesmerised the spectators at the Basel Tattoo musical festival in Switzerland, becoming the first ever school band to perform at the festival. 22 bands from all over the world performed in the festival.

Only military bands from across the world had been taking part in the Swiss-festival for the last 15 years. The Kumudini boys have also become the top three bands to feature in the annual magazine of the world’s second biggest pipes and drums music festival in Switzerland.

For the boys, mostly coming from poor and rural family backgrounds, going to the festival was a dream come true. However, it was not achieved overnight.

“Every day the boys used to practice for long hours sometimes in empty stomach. This has been going on since 2019, when the school got the invitation,” said Roshan Bista, an assistant teacher at the school.

Sabin Rai, a resident of Kafer, and Alex Lepcha, a resident of 8th Mile in Kalimpong, both students of Class 12, could not believe themselves when they finally landed in Switzerland.

“Had we not received the invitation, free travel and accommodation, it would never have been possible for us to come to Switzerland, my dream country,” Rai told HT from Basel city where the festival will continue till Saturday.

“Returning home late, walking two hours from school, had been a regular affair since 2019 as we stayed back for practice . Though my parents supported me, they were worried about my studies,” said Alex.

In Switzerland, it was very difficult to cope up with their timing, both of them said.

Rohit Kumar Chettri, a mason by profession and the father of Subham Chettri, a member of the school band, said his son telephoned from Switzerland at 10.30pm and again at 3am after the school’s performance.

Originally from the remote Nok Dara village, 40 km from Kalimpong town, the Chettri family shifted to the town just to give wings to Subham’s dreams.

“Now he has made all of us proud,” Rohit Kumar said, adding that the family had not been sleeping properly since Subham went to Switzerland. Subham plays pipes and performs Khukuri dance.

“What impressed the festival organisers and the audience most were the traditional Nepali or Gorkhali songs and Khukuri dance the boys played,” said Pridarshi Lama, the mentor of the boys.

Lama an assistant-teacher, who is accompanying the students, single-handedly prepared the boys.

This is the first time in the history of the Basel Tattoo festival that any school band was invited and the boys have become the first ever band to represent India in the festival.

“Despite old and poor-quality instruments and old uniforms, the boys mesmerised the audience with their spectacular performances,” said Lama.

Talking to HT from Switzerland, Sabin said: “The challenges to perform our best were equally burdensome for us as we have poor and old quality of musical instruments.”

“Our daily practice in Switzerland lasts for 12 to 14 hours. But this did not deter us from performing as we want to give our best and make India proud,” said Alex.

“The organisers had been tracking our performances for years and I think they liked the typical Gorkhali uniforms, Birkhey topi with Khukuri,” Lama said.

For the boys, their best tunes are ‘Yo Nepali Sir Uchali’ and ‘Laurey Ko Relimai Fashionai Ramro, two of the all-time favourite Nepali songs. The videos of their performances have gone viral on social media.

Among other bands performing there are Swiss Army Central Band, His Majesty The King’s Guard Band, Drill team from Norway and the Band of Her majesty Welsh Guards from Great Britain.

No comments

Thank you for reaching out to us. We are happy to receive your opinion and request. If you need advert or sponsored post, We’re excited you’re considering advertising or sponsoring a post on our blog. Your support is what keeps us going. With the current trend, it’s very obvious content marketing is the way to go. Banner advertising and trying to get customers through Google Adwords may get you customers but it has been proven beyond doubt that Content Marketing has more lasting benefits.
We offer majorly two types of advertising:
1. Sponsored Posts: If you are really interested in publishing a sponsored post or a press release, video content, advertorial or any other kind of sponsored post, then you are at the right place.
Generally, a sponsored post can be any of the following:
Press release
Video content
This kind of post is usually written to promote you or your business. However, we do prefer posts that naturally flow with the site’s general content. This means we can also promote artists, songs, cosmetic products and things that you love of all products or services.
Every sponsored article will remain live on the site as long as this website exists. The duration is indefinite! Again, we will share your post on our social media channels and our email subscribers too will get to read your article. You’re exposing your article to our: Twitter followers, Facebook fans and other social networks.

We will also try as much as possible to optimize your post for search engines as well.

Submission of Materials : Sponsored post should be well written in English language and all materials must be delivered via electronic medium. All sponsored posts must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail on Microsoft Word unless otherwise noted.
The price largely depends on if you’re writing the content or we’re to do that. But if your are writing the content, it is $60 per article.

2. Banner Advertising: We also offer banner advertising in various sizes and of course, our prices are flexible. you may choose to for the weekly rate or simply buy your desired number of impressions.

Technical Details And Pricing
Banner Size 300 X 250 pixels : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Banner Size 728 X 90 pixels: Appears on the top right Corner of the homepage and all pages on the site.
Large rectangle Banner Size (336x280) : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Small square (200x200) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Half page (300x600) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Portrait (300x1050) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Billboard (970x250) : Appears on the home page.

Submission of Materials : Banner ads can be in jpeg, jpg and gif format. All materials must be deliverd via electronic medium. All ads must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail in the ordered pixel dimensions unless otherwise noted.
For advertising offers, send an email with your name,company, website, country and advert or sponsored post you want to appear on our website to omodjk(at)gmail(dot)com

Normally, we should respond within 48 hours.