YOUNGSTERS were given the chance to learn key life lessons as well as Indian culture at the Central Library yesterday.

A special workshop taught the children about the Panchatantra, an ancient Indian collection of animal fables in verse and prose.

The children were told a story and then had to perform it themselves, wearing special masks.

“This is a good chance for the children to build their confidence as well as learn a bit about their culture,” said Rohit Ballal, the workshop leader.

“They get to learn about writing prose and poetry and then perform in front of their peers.

“In the past I have had parents coming up to me and saying their children have really benefited from the workshops.”

The main fable of yesterday’s workshop was called The Doves In The Net, which told the story of a group of birds who get caught in a net and realise they have to work together if they want to escape.

Rohit said: “It teaches teamwork as the doves are able to fly together when they all pull in the same direction.

“It’s important to teach these lessons as well as developing their creativity.

“It is also good they get to learn about Indian culture.”

As well as the Central Library event, several other workshops were held yesterday at a number of other Swindon libraries.

Colin Curtis, the library events officer, said the events were important to help make the libraries accessible to everyone in the town.

He said: “Swindon is a multi-cultural town and so it is important to have events which include everyone.

“While this workshop is open to everyone it allows people to use the libraries services who may not normally do so.”

Next Sunday the Central Library is hosting a number of events to celebrate the end of summer.

There will be a free event between 1pm and 3pm in the ground floor courtyard for families. There will be a diverse cultural mix of poetry, art and Asian dance and music as well as face painting and origami.

Between 3.15pm and 5pm there will be music from Pedal Folk as well as some local bands. Tickets will cost £5 for adults and £3.50 for under 18s.

For more information call 01793 463782 or email