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Diwali Coming Soon: Culture-Gram

October 26, 2016

(This is an updated version of our post from 2015.)

Diwali Coming Soon: Culture-Gram

I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.

Mahatma Gandhi

I am excited to continue this series on culture and diversity.  I would like to extend a special thank you to my former student, Sumeera, for today’s guest post.

Diwali, or Dipawali, is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (or deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians. Diwali, celebrated in October or November each year, originated as a harvest festival that marked the last harvest of the year before winter. Indians celebrate with family gatherings, glittering clay lamps, festive fireworks, strings of electric lights, bonfires, flowers, and sharing of sweets.

What is Diwali?Diwali

Diwali is a religious holiday that Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains celebrate. It’s called the Festival of Lights.

When is it celebrated?

This year (2016) people will celebrate from October28 to Nov. 1.

What do people do?

People celebrate by decorating their homes, lighting candles outside their homes, burning firecrackers.

Are there any days that kids may miss school or not be able to do homework?

Most kids still go to school in America but in India kids have 10 days off.

Do I  have to do anything?

As a teacher, you could wish the Indian students happy Diwali and invite those students to talk to the class about the holiday.

Can students do their homework?

It depends on the family.

Why are the kids missing school? 

Again it depends on the family.  It’s a religious holiday and if the family wants to keep their kids at home, it is their choice.

What can I share in class? 

This is an excellent video to show your students.

Sumeera Mansukhani is former CSU student and an educator.



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