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Mid-November, 3rd-grade parent Maya Capur visited her son’s classroom to talk about Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every autumn. Students listened to the story of Diwali, learned an Indian dance, enjoyed laddoos (traditional sweets), and saw their names written in Hindi! The celebration was a beautiful illustration of our diverse school community and our curiosity about the world around us.
Third-grade teacher Karen Boylan shared her observations about the class. “What’s wonderful to witness is, the students are not only curious about and respectful of other cultures; they have a real awareness of other ways of life. Our classroom conversations are enriched daily by students sharing their personal experiences in places like Algeria, or France. They are aware that not everyone in the world celebrates Thanksgiving; some celebrate Diwali.”
Three generations celebrated with the 3rd grade class that day, as Ms. Capur and her son, Rohan were joined by mother, grandmother and International High School teacher, Minakshi Capur. “We’re able to celebrate the beauty of other cultures, and with generations of family in our own school community, which is very special,” said Ms. Boylan.
Students were grateful for the celebration, as well. They sent notes to Ms. Capur, thanking her for sharing her traditions. Their favorite part of the afternoon varied—from learning about the characters in the story of Diwali, to dancing, wearing scarves and placing bindis on their foreheads. All students however, did agree on one thing: to sign their thank you letters with their names written in Hindi.
Thank you so much for the presentation. It was wonderful! I really liked the dance, it was one of a kind! The bright yellow treats were the sweetest food I have ever tasted.