Carlisle School, students learned about Diwali, a Festival of Lights to celebrate the Hindu New Year. Chhaya Suthar, a Martinsville resident who lived in India for 27 years, visited several classrooms to talk to students about the five-day celebration. Mrs. Suthar is the mother of three Carlisle Students: Shivani, Sanvi, and Shreya.
In each class, students were able to discuss the similarities and differences between holidays around the globe as Mrs. Suthar shared how families clean their homes, prepare sweets, decorate, and purchase new clothes in preparation for the celebration of Diwali.
They heard the story of how Diwali began and learned about the Goddess Lakshmi, who brings prosperity, health, peace, and happiness to festival participants.
Mrs. Suthar explained about the dia candles which families light each night of the festival. She showed students the bindi, a colored dot, which she wears on her forehead, allowed them to examine her traditional dress and told them about the language of Gujaraei that her family speaks.
On the third day of Diwali, which is the main day of celebration, families celebrate with fireworks and it is also the last day of the year. The fourth day of Diwali is the New Year. The fifth day of celebration is called Bhaibij where and adults and children exchange presents to show the love between brothers and sisters. Mrs. Suthar gave the students coloring sheets which featured a dia candle and a rangoli design for them to decorate.
In addition to learning about this beautiful celebration, the students also enjoyed tasting three treats that are traditional to Diwali.
- Shakkarpara is a small crispy square snack made of fried flour and sugar.
- Puri is a thin and crispy round green disc made of flour and spinach.
- Gulabjamun is a soft round ball made with milk powder, pancake mix, cardamom, whipping cream, and coated in sugar syrup.
The students’ favorite treat in Kindergarten and 4th grade was Puri, as many asked for seconds of that item.
Chhaya Suthar presented