Diwali Celebration Across Campus

Written by Ellice Hawkins, Director of Multicultural Programs and Services

This past Saturday, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, and many others celebrated the Hindu “Festival of Lights” known as
Diwali. This auspicious time of year reminds us that goodwill triumphs over evil, light will reign over dark, and knowledge over ignorance. Customarily, Hindus would clean their houses from top to bottom, light special clay candles called diyas, and decorate their houses with rangolis to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, Lakshmi, into their homes.  Diwali is said to be celebrated to welcome the exiled King Rama home to Ayodhya after fourteen years of exile. The people, who are overjoyed to see their beloved king return, lit his path with candles, and celebrated with food and fireworks. To this day, the holiday is one of India's major holidays and remains important to all Indians at home and abroad. 
 
The students across the grade levels came together to celebrate this special time of year and honor the tradition. During the chapel services in all three divisions, Diwali and its tenets were highlighted. The cafeteria provided treats labeled with stickers supplied by LIA describing and wishing everyone a “sweet” holiday. Information on Diwali was read during morning announcements.
 
Under the direction of LIA Co-President Era Singh, the LIA organized:
 
Lower School

The Lower School lobby was decorated with paper diyas (lamps) made by students, and information on Diwali was read during morning announcements, and the Kindergarten and Third Grade enjoyed custom designed celebrations.  Videos were played for students featuring Lovett families telling about Diwali and how they like to celebrate.  Ariana B. - 4th,  Alisha K. - 4th,  Ria A.- 1st,  Ahana D.- 1st,  Saanya S. – K wished everyone a "Happy Diwali" and shared their family's traditions. Fifth grader, Suvi G., read a Diwali book for the Kindergarteners.  Mae Clary – K, helped teach two fun Diwali crafts. The video also included Third Grade teacher Krupal Singh explaining the five days of Diwali. The Kindergarteners enjoyed a sing-along while the Third Graders played Diwali Tambola (bingo) and learned how to draw a diya.  Each student received a goodie bag with a Diwali info sheet, mango juice box, candy and sticker to wear that says “ask me about Diwali” so the kids could share what they learned with others. The Kindergarteners made an elephant craft and a paper diya craft. The Third Grade made scratch bookmarks which represent the beauty that is revealed when you remove darkness.  

Thanks to parent volunteers who put the goodie bags together and delivered them to the classrooms!

 
Middle School
 
Under the direction of new-to-Lovett teacher and advisor for the MS South Asian Affinity group, Anu Bielfelt, with assistance from the affinity and alliance groups, all advisories worked together and drew chalk rangolis to celebrate the holiday. Students from Grade 6-8 proudly displayed their rangolis in their respective hallways for all to see. The students also learned about the more meditative and central focusing act of drawing the rangoli. Students who claimed they had no artistic skill were given a chance to express themselves and connect with their peers through art. Throughout the hour, a sense of joy and excitement filled the hallways of the Middle School.  LIA also supplied the necessary items for Diwali decorating and the rangoli activity.
 
 
Upper School
 
The US South Asian Affinity Group held a celebration during lunch last Friday, in celebration of the “Festival of Lights”, Diwali. US Student Leaders Riya Sharma and Anika Singh, along with other members of the affinity group, dressed in traditional Indian attire during their lunch meeting to share their celebration with the US student body and faculty. During this lunch meeting, the students gave a presentation on the background of this festive holiday and made sand art rangolis together while listening to festive Indian music. The US hosted a colorful NUD, and the foyer was also decorated with diyas (lamps) and colorful scarves to celebrate the holiday. 
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