Aizawl: Every year, during the month of August, the hills of Aizawl come alive with the sound of children’s choir. The preparation for the yearly September convention of children’s Sunday schools, or Naupang Sunday School Khawmpui in the local parlance, begins from the month of August.
The activity has been going on for generations and it is much valued by parents and the children alike. For the children, the excitement is like Christmas as they get to wear beautiful and new clothes and shoes.
The children really enjoy practising hymns and Bible recitations on weekdays after their school hours. On weekends and on Sundays, they continue with their practice after the formal Sunday school services in the forenoon.
They congregate in church halls for their practices. Not only do they learn about the scriptures and hymns, they are also taught etiquette, social and cultural values. Throughout the year, the children are given training that prepares them for adult life. For the teenagers, seminars on drugs and health awareness are occasionally organised by the church.
The children’s Sunday school is divided into five different categories or departments according to their ages. The youngest are placed in the beginners’ department, then the primary, junior and interdepartmental departments.
The sacrament department is the last slot and is the last stage before joining the adult Sunday school service in the proper church. It is constituted mostly by teenagers. This department is very crucial as it prepares the adolescents for adult life.
The adolescents of the sacrament department also undergo confirmation service before joining the adult Sunday school service as full fledged members of the church.
For the yearly convention, hymns and Bible recitations are selected for the five different departments. The children prepare themselves wholeheartedly for the competition. It is a joy to hear them practice every evening. The hills of Aizawl liven up with their songs and recitations.