By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – Attired in their colorful, festive best, dozens of children from the Armstrong Elementary school participated in the school's “Celebration of Diwali” Nov. 8.
In the Indian culture, Diwali, commonly known as the “Festival of Lights,” is one of the most revered and celebrated holidays. The five-day festival, which falls between mid- October and mid-November each year, is family-oriented and celebrated with traditional prayers, foods and special clothing. Other countries that celebrate Diwali include Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar,? and Malaysia, among others.
Approximately one third of the school's population is from a different culture, according to third-grade teacher, Janet Hart, who oversaw the event. In light of this, the school has formed a Diversity Council, composed of administrators, teachers and parents, to help recognize the different cultures represented at the school.
“To date, we have celebrated the countries of India, China, and Colombia with evening events,” she said. “During daytime events, we have also recognized Puerto Rico, Russia and Korea.”
At the Armstrong event, the children and their guests” first watched a short video that explained the meaning of the holiday. The students then marched through the auditorium holding small battery-powered lights before rejoining their families.
Children were then invited to partake in activities such as making Diwali lamps from clay, having their hands decorated with traditional henna designs and making a decorative type of folk-art called rangoli. They also enjoyed sampling traditional Indian foods and teas. (Photos/Bonnie Adams)