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Singing with Noola & Froggy

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Tharamaten  |  Launched on 4 December 2020  |  KattiBoo Day  |  Nursery Rhyme  |  All Ages

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Authored by Abhi Krish  |  Puppetry by Jegannath Ramanujam  |  Art for Downloadable Rhyme Sheet by Nirzara Verulkar  |  Edited by Thaxsha Mark

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This song was created as part of NoolaPalooza’s Community Partnerships segment. Artists and arts groups from Singapore collaborate with author Abhi Krish to present her songs through various forms of art. Children may watch these videos to learn how to tell stories using dance, drama, music, doodles, and puppetry.

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உங்களைத் தொடுவதற்கு உங்கள் அனுமதி அவசியம்! இதைக் குழந்தைகளுக்கு கற்றுத்தருகிறது ஓர் எளிய பாடல். அதற்கு பொம்மலாட்ட வடிவம் தருகிறார் ஓவியர் ஜெகன் ராமானுஜம்.

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Is someone asking you for hugs and kisses but you don’t feel in the mood? Artist Jegannath Ramanujam is going to teach you how to make an uber-simple puppet to help you say NO! Confidently. Let’s learn about personal boundaries in a fun, accessible way.

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”50px”][vc_single_image image=”22843″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” qode_css_animation=”” link=””][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” video=”” css_animation=””][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”60px”][vc_column_text]We speak with Jegannath to learn more about his art and initiatives. Read on![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text]Tell us about Creative Hands. 

Creative Hands is a brain child of the founder, Jegannath Ramanujam, who wanted to share his knowledge and passion for art and animation with the rest. The collaboration of many hands in the creative space is the underlying nudge for Creative Hands. Since the set-up of the company, workshops, classes, trainings have been continuously conducted to various age groups. The company also collaborates with various partners and organisations to work with them for various initiatives too.


How have you been promoting Tamil through your initiatives?

Other than conducting workshops and the lessons in Tamil, we collaborate with partners to work to merge art and animation with Tamil. Metaphorically, this is merging hard skills together with soft skills.  For example, we create puppets or characters using stop-motion technique and string them together in the form of storytelling in Tamil language.

What are some challenges in engaging Tamil audiences?

There is always interest from those who want to learn something new or those who want to try their hand at an area of interest for them. But to tune new audiences towards your initiative is always a challenge. I would not classify this as an issue particularly targeting the Tamil audiences. They have been pretty supportive so far. But one learning point that could be made better will be the appreciation of art and to boost the child’s interest in pursuing in art if there is keen interest and eagerness. Although art is not a ‘major’ subject such as English, Math or Science, the current situation in our world has changed and there are so many opportunities for us to choose and succeed. I would say that this mindset can improve for better engagement and participation.

What advice do you have for parents and children who feel strongly about a future in illustration but are worried about whether they would be good enough?

10 years ago, this would have been a justifiable concern. But in today’s world, there are many avenues for the child to do well, earn well. I always share that how or who you want to be in the chosen field depends on why you want to do it and how well you want to do it. To do something is different from to succeed in something. The level of effort you portray will be different. You want to be an illustrator, learn the basics right, improve on yourself, create a portfolio from young, be ahead of the crowd and find where the right avenue is. No field is better or lacking in the current situation, it is all about how hard you try.

How do you use art to engage your children? Any tips for readers to try at home?

Art is a world of its own where creativity and imagination run wild. You can make a child eat vegetables using art. You can make a child learn maths creatively with art. Art is a tool that you can incorporate to make things that seem hard to be understood easily because it stirs eagerness to learn within the recipient. I use art to stir curiosity and to teach my kids Tamil. We paint and learn letters at the same time. Using art to nudge learning is a subtle way of teachings kids indirectly. Try it and you will see how it works!


What do you feel are areas of need, locally, for Tamil children’s literature in terms of art and animation?

I feel that the current available Tamil literature does not have sufficient illustrations within them. We also can tap onto creating more e-books with animations within them so that children will develop an interest to read them. I believe we have very good resources and talents around us to do this and can strive to create more valuable resources for children in terms of Tamil and literature.

Tell us about the puppet you made for “Tharamaten” 

The puppet was made with simple and easily available items around the house such as paper plates, paint etc. It is a simple process and will be a great activity for the children to do along with their parents. The idea was to really create a puppet with minimal items and for kids to enjoy their time creating it.


If you had to choose a Tamil nursery rhyme to illustrate, what would you choose and why?

I will probably choose the classic ‘Nila Nila odi vaa’ – This is a nursery rhyme that many kids relate to and it has very interesting elements in them. Apart from the mother and child, we have the moon, dark blue sky with stars glittering and various actions by the child that flows together. A very dreamy effect to kickstart it and a relatable content. I have also illustrated a ‘Uyir eluthukkal’ series recently and it was a joy to see kids loving the illustrations and giving a hand at them.


What programmes can we look forward to from you and Creative Hands?

Creative Hands has been collaborating with various partners to teach art and animation in an interesting and appealing manner. Our latest joint venture will be with Think Tamil Academy in which we will be conducting a stop motion animation workshop tapping on story telling as its main focus. This is a one of its kind workshop for young kids aged 4 to 8 and is conducted in Tamil too. We have also a series of art and animation drawing, painting and illustration workshops coming up for kids and adults to join us. We are also in the process of working on our own animation films and story productions for children literature. You may keep in touch with us at our website or social media handles!


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