A group of Harry Hooge Elementary students decorated their school and performed dances as part of the Diwali celebrations last week.
Kawaldeep Ghuman, a teacher at the school, said the students who participated were excited to show off their culture and explain to students what Diwali was all about.
“It was a great experience,” she said. “I think they are feeling really proud of their culture and being open and being accepted.”
Diwali means “rows of lighted lamps,” and is celebrated in mid-October to early November by Sikh and Hindu communities around the world. Shops, houses, and public places are decorated with lights and oil lamps called diyas, and people make rangoli, share sweets, exchange gifts, offer prayers, and enjoy festive fireworks.
For Agrima, a Grade 5 student at Harry Hooge, this is the first Diwali she and her family has celebrated since moving to Canada from India a few months ago.
She said she was nervous to dance in front of her new classmates, but enjoyed performing and wearing her traditional clothes.
“It was exciting,” she said. “But there was a little bit of nervousness.”
For Nishchal, a Grade 3 student at Harry Hooge, the presentation was a way to showcase the clothing and food she enjoys during Diwali.
“Diwali, you just wear good dresses and eat good food and snacks and so many good good things,” said “Nishchal, a Grade 3 student at Harry Hooge who participated in the dance.
She added that she hoped the performance would help her classmates better understand what Diwali is.
“And if they want to celebrate Diwali, I can help them.”
Harry Hooge Elementary was not the only school that held Diwali celebrations last week.
At Albion Elementary, staff dressed up and took part in creating a rangoli for the front entrance of the school, while students at Fairview Elementary did art and crafts.
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