Less than a week after our Fall Fest celebration we were celebrating again. This time, our class’ Indian families came to school and showed our students how Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated. Although it’s customarily a week-long celebration, we had a good glimpse of it. The families decorated the hall beautifully with a big, colorful Rangoli as the centerpiece. They also brought a lot of traditional Indian clothing for the teachers and students to wear during our small celebration. The children loved how beautiful, bright and colorful they were. Some of them even wanted to keep the clothes.
Sarena’s dad, Nikuj, read a book about Diwali that explained how this occasion is celebrated by different cultures in India. This was quite enlightening to everybody because there is not just one way to celebrate it. India is such a big country and consists of different kinds of people with their own cultures. Then, each child was then given an electric candle, that worked like a diya, where they offered prayers, wishes and appreciation to the gods. We took the celebration outside to light up the fireworks, where everybody got the chance to light a sparkler. They each had a fruit and sweet Indian dessert called Gulab Jamun, which they all certainly enjoyed.
A special thanks to the Kanumuru, Nandipati and Sethi families who all worked hard to prepare for this occasion. They were able to show us a little part of their culture, which we will never forget.