BIS #7095 SYMBIOS 2023 at DB Nashik

By Fr Rudolf D’Souza for BISMumbai

SYMBIOS 2023 was held at Don Bosco, Nashik, on 29 October 2023. 85 youngsters hailing from different parishes and Salesian institutions within the Nashik region participated in this event. Based on the theme 'Mind Matters: Nurture, Navigate, and Nourish,' the event provided a platform for young minds to explore and engage with the vital aspects of mental well-being.

The event kicked off at 9:30 a.m. with a warm welcome as participants received specially-themed T-shirts and a hearty breakfast upon their arrival. A unique twist set the stage for the day's activities, as attendees were grouped based on their choice of coloured soft drinks.

Deacon Ian Pinto led an electrifying action song titled 'Alive, Alert, Awake, Enthusiastic,' setting the tone for the day's discussions on mental health. Fr Royal D'Abreo, the Rector and Parish Priest of Don Bosco Church, Nashik, welcomed the gathering and inaugurated the official poster of SYMBIOS 2023. Fr Evangelo D'Souza, the Salesian Youth Director of Nashik Region, introduced the main resource persons for the day, Fr Mavron Fernandes, and Ms Audrea Castellino, who were slated to facilitate sessions aligned with the event's theme.

Participants were divided into three groups, each attending sessions that revolved around the central theme of nurturing, navigating, and nourishing mental health. Ms Castellino, who has completed her Masters in Counselling and is currently a student counsellor at Podar International School, Nashik, is focused on nurturing mental health and sharing techniques to cultivate positive habits that contribute to mental well-being. In his session on navigating through life's challenges, Fr Fernandes, who is currently the Director of Prafulta Counselling Centre in Nashik, offered modules that provided insights into dealing with difficult and stressful situations.

A third session, jointly conducted by Fr Evangelo D'Souza, Fr Rudolf D'Souza, and Dn Pinto, emphasised how participants could sustain and maintain good mental health. These sessions allowed the youth to gain valuable knowledge and skills vital for their overall mental well-being.

The morning's intellectual endeavours were followed by Holy Eucharist at noon, celebrated by Rt. Rev. Bishop Lourdes Daniel of the Diocese of Nashik. In his homily, he encouraged the youth to seize opportunities and live up to their full potential. He commended the Salesian community for their successful gathering of young people, recognising the challenge of organising such events in today's fast-paced world.

After lunch, the event took a cultural turn when a group of youth from Walvanda, situated in the Jawhar-Mokhada tribal belt of Thane District, presented the Tarpa Dance, a traditional all-night dance performance usually reserved for special occasions.

The excitement continued with outdoor lightning tournaments featuring six different games conducted simultaneously, with twelve teams participating in a thrilling rotation. The day concluded on a musical note with a dance session.

SYMBIOS 2023 Nashik Edition drew to a close at 4:30 p.m. and the youth left with not only a greater understanding of caring for their mental health but also cherished memories of bonding with peers and celebrating their youthfulness.