• Simon O'Donovan

National Curry Week / India

"To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim" - Martin Luther King, Jr


It was 'National Curry Week' this week, therefore India was our theme choice. We started by asking, 'Who has been to India?' If anyone has visited, 'What was it like?' And, 'For those who have not been, who would fancy a holiday there?' And, 'For what reasons would you like to visit India, or not?'

NEWS ROUND Next, we caught up with the week's news. Remembering the iconic Bette Davis, who died 30 years ago on 6th October 2019. (April 5, 1908 – October 6, 1989). "I'd marry again if I found a man who had fifteen million dollars, would sign over half to me, and guarantee that he'd be dead within a year." Julie Andrews reached her 84th birthday on 1st October 2019 (born 1st October 1935). "Hopefully, I brought people a certain joy. That will be a wonderful legacy." On 5th October 1961, Breakfast at Tiffany's premiered in New York City, starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly and George Peppard as Paul Varjak. The film won 2 Academy Awards: Best Original Score and Best Original Song, for ‘Moon River’. Katarina Johnson-Thompson won world heptathlon gold this week. She won the gold medal at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, breaking the British record (held by Jessica Ennis-Hill) with a score of 6,981 points. Dina Asher-Smith had an even better week, when she became the first British athlete ever to win three medals at a World Athletics Championship. She won gold and silver in the 200m and 100m respectively, then ran a storming second leg in the 4x100m relay, earning another silver medal. The weather was pretty awful this week, as the UK was battered by the remnants of hurricane Lorenzo. We looked at pictures of local flooding. And remembered the great storm of 1987, when Michael Fish said there definitely would not be a hurricane. We watched a video of gorillas making a run for it in the rain. Their facial expressions were so human like. But we all agreed, the best place for gorillas is in the wild. Talking of primates, a Banksy painting showing MPs as chimps in the House Of Parliament fetched nearly £10m at auction. On the subject of money, the biggest ever UK Euromillions prize was won this week. We discussed how on earth anyone could spend £170m. Not surprisingly, the winner wished to remain anonymous. The Rugby World Cup continued in Tokyo, but some matches are being cancelled as a typhoon approaches. We looked at pictures of superfan Bak-San, who had his wife paint on rugby team shirts onto his torso. He is quite the sensation on social media currently. The 'Sir David Attenborough' ship was formally launched this week. We remembered it had previously been named in a public vote as 'Boaty Mc Boat Face'. The Beatles album 'Abbey Road' had it's 50th anniversary this week. And John Lennon would have had his 79th birthday on 9th October. We discussed who had this album and what members' favourite Beatles songs were. 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' also had it's 50th anniversary this week. We remembered the zany comedy series and the names of it's members - John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam. The nation's favourite hymn was named this week by Classic FM as being 'Jerusalem'. One of our members sang it every day in school assembly, so knew the words when we sang along. Finally, it was 'National Smile Day' on 3rd October. We each shared the things which make us smile the most. A good joke, a funny video or picture, the warm company of friends, the comfort of beloved pets.

NOTE. You may wish to use the above news stories linked to music as a short CST session, say if you have half an hour to spare.

Suggested songs:

Bette Davies Eyes - Kim Karne

My Favourite Thins - Julie Andrews ('Sound Of Music')

Moon River - Audrey Hepburn

Gold - Spandau Ballet

Laughter In The Rain - Neil Sedaka

Daydream Believer - The Monkees

Money Money Money - Abba

What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor - Fisherman's Friends

Imagine - John Lennon

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life - Eric Idle ('Life Of Brian')

Jerusalem - Parry

IDIOMS Next we looked at these idioms and asked members to complete them... Indian SUMMER (October good weather) Delhi BELLY (upset tummy) Too many chiefs and not enough INDIANS (too many people telling others what to do, not enough people doing the actual work) Take with a pinch of SALT (I don't entirely believe it) Sugar and spice and all things NICE - that's what little girls are made of (boys are made of slugs and snails and PUPPY DOG TAILS) Cowboys and INDIANS (a children's game) Elephants never FORGET (they are supposed to have a good memory) Three wise MONKEYS (The saying is, 'See no evil, hear no evil, SPEAK NO EVIL'.) Rub salt in the WOUND (make it worse) Variety is the SPICE of life (keep yourself open to new experiences) Salt of the EARTH (someone with no airs or graces, what you see is what you get) Holy COW (cows are sacred in India) Peter Piper picked a peck of PICKLED Pepper * (see below) It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the BAND TO PLAY (lyric) In a PICKLE (you have a problem) Cut the MUSTARD (make the grade) Bring out the BRANSTON (advertising slogan) Some like it HOT (1959 comedy film starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemon & Marilyn Monroe) * (full tongue twister) "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?"

Click on the above image to be taken to a slide show, of pictures to be printed off for the tables

INDIA QUIZ What colours is the Indian flag comprised of? - ORANGE, WHITE & GREEN STRIPES, WITH A BLUE CHAKRA IN THE CENTRE What is the population of India? (nearest guess) - 1.339BN What is the Capital of India? - NEW DELHI What is the main religion of India? - HINDUISM 79.8%, ISLAM 14.2%, 6% CHRISTIANITY, SIKHISM, BUDDHISM & JAINISM What is the currency of India? - RUPEE The first curry house opened in London in which year? (nearest guess) - 1773 Which James Bond film was shot predominantly in and around the city of Udaphur? -OCTOPUSSY From what is the Taj Mahal mausoleum in Agra mainly constructed? - MARBLE What date did Princess Diana famously sit in front of this monument for press photographs? - 11 FEBRUARY 1992 Mumbai is the new English name for which city? - BOMBAY How many hours ahead of GMT is India? - 5.5 HOURS Name the Indian activist who led the campaign against British rule in the 1920s and 30s? - MAHATMA GHANDI The 'Indian Independence Act' (also known as 'The Mountbatten Plan') was enacted in which year? - AUGUST 15TH 1947 (INDIA AND PAKISTAN WERE PARTITIONED) Name the Albanian born Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary, made a saint in 2016? - MOTHER THERESA Name the famous Indian chef with a UK TV series in the 1970s? - MADHUR JAFFREY Name the Indian cricketer turned politician. Now Prime Minister of Pakistan? - IMRAN KHAN Who is he married to? - JEMIMA GOLDSMITH What is the physical, mental, and spiritual discipline which originated in ancient India? (demonstrate some poses) - YOGA NAMASTE is commonly said in Yoga, whilst bowing heads to each other. It’s meaning is? - I BOW TO YOU (Full text... “I bow to you. My soul honours your soul. I honour the place in you where The entire universe resides. I honour the light, love, truth Beauty and peace within you, Because it is also within me. In sharing these things, We are united, we are the same, We are one.” Which animal is considered sacred in India? - COW The Bengal tiger numbered how many individuals in 2011? - FEWER THAN 2,500 What is the most popular Indian dish in the UK? - CHICKEN TIKKA MASSALA (A British invention) What is a length of material worn around the head by Sikhs called? - TURBAN What is the most sacred river in India? (pilgrims bathe in the waters at Varanasi) - GANGES What is the coloured dot worn on the forehead by Hindus? (the sacred symbol of the cosmos, or the point at which creation begins) - BINDI What drink is the most popular in India? - TEA OR CHAI (Assam, Darjeeling or Ceylon) What is liquid clarified butter used in Indian cookery called? - GHEE Which spice is used to colour and flavour Pilau Rice? - SAFFRON What flower does Saffron come from? - THE STAMEN OF THE CROCUS What is a Tuk Tuk? - A MODE OF TRANSPORT (AUTOMATED RICKSHAW) Which garment worn by Indian women consists of a drape of coloured fabric 4.5- 8 metres in length? - SARI Which ancient Hindu text describes human sexual behaviour? - KAMA SUTRA Which elephants have the smaller ears, African or Indian? - INDIAN (Apparently they are roughly the same shape as the country from which they live!) What is the Indian film industry called? - BOLLYWOOD Which 'Carry On' film had an Indian theme? - CARRY ON UP THE KHYBER Who directed the 1984 film 'A Passage To India'? - DAVID LEAN Who did this film star? - PEGGY ASHCROFT, JUDY DAVIS, JAMES FOX, ALEC GUINNESS, NIGEL HAVERS & VICTOR BANERJEE Which city in the USA has the letters I.N.D.I.A. in the name? - INDIANAPOLIS What is Banghra a style of? - PUNJABI DANCE 'Coronation Street' features which Indian corner shop owner? - DEV ALAHAN, PLAYED BY JIMMI HARKISHIN 'The Simpsons' features which Indian character, also in the role of a shop owner? - APU, WHO WORKS IN KWIK-E-MART Which Indian beers are named after a bird and a snake? - KINGFISHER & COBRA What is the name of the popular Indo/British curry soup? - MULLIGATAWNY What is the name of the popular Indo/British curried salad dish? - CORONATION CHICKEN Who was this dish created for? - QUEEN VICTORIA Spinach based dishes are called what? - SAAG Chick pea based dishes are called what? - CHANA Potato based dishes are called what? - ALOO Lentil based dishes are called what? - DAHL What is the proper name of Ladies Fingers (green vegetable)? - OKRA 'Kofti' is what? - INDIAN ICE CREAM (Flavours are usually - pistachio cardamom or saffron) Which hand do Indians traditionally eat with? - RIGHT Ask members to name their FAVOURITE INDIAN RESTAURANT Ask members to LIST AS MANY INDIAN DISHES AS THEY CAN Bombay mix Poppadom Onion bhaji Pakora Samosa Raita Mango chutney Lime pickle Pilau rice Korma Madras Jalfrezi Balti Biryani Dopiaza Tikka massala Rogan Josh Vindaloo Bhuna Phall Nan bread Chapati Yoghurt to cool the palette ASK MEMBERS TO LIST THE 13 INGREDIENTS ONE WOULD FIND IN CURRY POWDER (TESCO'S HOT) Coriander seed Cumin seed Ginger Salt Fenugreek seed Garlic powder Chilli powder Black pepper Cinnamon Paprika Bay leaves Cardamom Caraway seed

MUSIC ROUND Spotify Playlist link here The Indian National Anthem, or 'Jana Ghana Mana' begins the quiz. What are the official two languages of India? HINDI & ENGLISH Norwegian Wood - The Beatles This was the first ever UK pop record to feature which Indian instrument? SITAR Within You Without You - The Beatles The Beatles were inspired by which Indian musician? RAVI SHANKAR Whispering Grass - Don Estelle & Windsor Davies Which UK comedy series set in India is this song associated with? IT AIN'T HALF HOT MUM

What word was shouted at the end of each episode? - SHUTUP WHICH 2011 film does this music come from? - THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL Starring whom? DAME JUDI DENCH, BILL NIGHY, MAGGIE SMITH, DEV PATEL, CELIA IMRIE, RONALD PICKUP & PENELOPE WILTON Jai Ho - And this film? - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (2008) Who hosted 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' in the UK? - CHRIS TARRANT It returned earlier this year for one series hosted by? - JEREMY CLARKSON Two songs from another children's film now. The Bare Necessities & I Wanna Be Like You. Which film? - THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967) Who wrote the original book? - RUDYARD KIPLING, 1894 Name the characters? - BALOO, MOWGLI, SHERE KHAN, BAGHEERA & KAA Goodness Gracious Me - Peter Sellers & Sophia Loren Ask members to identify the singers in this song? Who starred in the TV comedy series 'Goodness Gracious Me'? - MEERA SYAL, SANJEEV BHASKAR, KULVINDER GHIR, NINA WADIA & DAVE LAMB YouTube Link here to one of their best sketches, "I'll have the blandest thing on the menu!" Games People Play - Joe South (includes sitar music) Ask members each to give a name of a favourite game they used to play. A couple of supplementary questions are as follows: CLUEDO - Name the 6 characters. MISS SCARLET, PROFESSOR PLUM, MRS PEACOCK, REVEREND GREEN, COLONEL MUSTARD & MRS WHITE MONOPOLY - Which set of properties are the most expensive? NAVY BLUE - MAYFAIR & PARK LANE

How much do you get for passing 'Go'? - £200 What is the other name for the card game SOLITAIRE? - PATIENCE

What do opposite side of a dice always add up to? - 7 Or, you could ask a member to demonstrate how to play HOPSCOTCH Or, you could ask members to demonstrate a game of ROCK PAPER SCISSORS Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours - Stevie Wonder (includes sitar music) What is Stevie Wonder's real name? - STEVLAND HARDAWAY MORRIS Ever So Lonely - Monsoon What are wind and rain storms called in other parts of the world? HURRICANES FORM OVER THE NORTH ATLANTIC AND NORTHEAST PACIFIC OCEANS, TYPHOONS IN THE NORTHWEST PACIFIC & CYCLONES IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC AND INDIAN OCEAN ('MONSOON' was first used in British India to refer to big seasonal winds blowing from the Bay Of Bengali and Arabian Sea in the southwest bringing heavy rainfall) Supplementary question, which year did the UK have it's worst hurricane in living memory? (Michael Fish infamously got the weather forecast wrong) 1987 Indiana Jones - Film Score Who starred as Indiana Jones in the series of films? HARRISON FORD Who starred as his father? SEAN CONNERY Which Indiana Jones film was set in India? THE TEMPLE OF DOOM A bonus question could be asked, Is it actually possible for Sean Connery to be Harrison Ford's father, age wise? Not legally, Sean Connery is 89 and Harrison Ford is 77, only 12 years between them. Feeling Hot Hot Hot - Bad Influence What is the hottest curry available in the UK? - PHALL And the hottest chilli? - SCOTCH BONNETT Vindaloo Song - Fat Les What are members' preferred curry dishes? Has anyone tried a Vindaloo? Spice Up Your Life - The Spice Girls Name The Spice Girls? - BABY SPICE - EMMA BUNTON, GINGER SPICE - GERI HALIWELL, POSH SPICE - VICTORIA BECKHAM NÉE ADAMS, SPORTY SPICE - MELANIE CHISHOLM & SCARY SPICE - MELANIE BROWN Mellow Yellow - Donovan

True or false. Saffron is more valuable than gold? - TRUE

Saffron costs ($11 per gram). Each Crocus sativus flower yields just three strands of aromatic saffron - reason enough for it being the most expensive spice in the world by weight and more valuable than gold. Govinda - Kula Shaker Have a go at some Indian dance moves with members who wish to participate. You might need to look at some YouTube clips beforehand to lead the way. My Sweet Lord - George Harrison George Harrison wrote "My Sweet Lord" in praise of which Hindu god? - KRISHNA


Have some Indian food items on stand by for members to taste. We had some poppadoms, onion bhajis, pakoras, dahl, chana masala, nan bread and mango chutney to get stuck into. This made for a great multisensory session.

ACTIVITY Our main activity this week was creating a 'FRIENDSHIP' banner for our new base. Taking the 'Holi Festival Of Colours' as our link to India, each of us dipped our hands in paints to produce the handprints collage above. If we had had time, another idea was to give members who wanted one a Henna Tattoo on their hand.        

About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


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