Indian culture is like a box of assorted chocolates. It is built with intricate layers of values, wisdom and tradition. And just like you relish chocolates in their wholeness, Indian culture is also incomplete without savoring every aspect of it.
The most awaited time of the year is around the corner! We are very close to one of the biggest Indian festivals “Diwali”, popularly known as “Festival of lights”. The excitement is soaring high – preparations have started in full swing in the Indo-American community.
Diwali party planning is on all our minds, menu planning, sweet preparations, festive shopping for diyas, lights, clothes has also begun. Amidst of all of this, what we tend to forget is understanding the philosophy behind celebrating Diwali – Sometimes even if we know, we find it hard to explain to our kids, why diwali is an imperative aspect of Indian culture.
Diwali, the festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness.
While Halloween, known as fire festival, also celebrated by lighting lamps is simplified with an easy “Trick or Treat” tradition. The Di-wali-cious Kaju Katlis, laddoos, gujiyas are heavenly to eat, but understanding the significance behind making and distributing these sweets – is a bit tricky for kids to comprehend!
Manasi Dharane, ICC Preschool/Afterschool Director has come up with some fun ways to teach kids the significance of Diwali, which will widen their horizon and help them learn the importance to celebrating Diwali –
Teach Math with diyas: Lighting lamps is an integral aspect of celebrating Diwali. It is a symbol of brightness and positivism. Including diyas, in learning math, will get them accustomed to the objects that are related to the festival. Kids will not feel alien to the concept of the festival.
Using Apps for story narration: There are several apps tailor-made for kids learn the importance of celebrating festivals. “Diwali Festival Kids Activity” is one such app that helps kids can play virtual fireworks show, play memory matching game, have fun coloring diwali festival related pictures. Kids get to learn about diwali with an animated story taught by our animated character Hasini. To make this useful to all language speaking Indians, English language is used in all audio clip. “Diwali Stories” is another app.
Rangoli art activity: Kids can be involved in making rangoli designs using sand. This will enhance the creative side of their personalities. The traditional motifs used is making rangolis, have history, it is important for kids to know about their origin. Art has no boundaries, this is a great way to help kids learn about the importance of the festival.
Diwali greeting cards: Help your kids make personalized diwali greeting cards for close friends and family, with hand-written festive wishes. By writing wishes, kids will realize the importance of celebrating diwali.