As a child I moved around a lot, from Paris, to Singapore, to Chicago, then India. I was exposed to many different cultures and people. My experiences shaped who I am today. Someone who is curious about people, appreciates other cultures and wants to learn about things that are unfamiliar to me.
Cultures from all over the world can make their way into your home. Opening up your child to different forms of dance, music, celebrations, foods, etc. helps them see the world through different perspectives. This week many people around the world will be celebrating Diwali.
It’s a great moment for you to read stories about what Diwali is, how it is celebrated, where it originated and introduce your child to new music. You can even go out to a local Indian store or restaurant and get special sweets to try with your little one. With my little ones we have tried a different sweet each year so far and learned how they were made and what they are called. It is so much fun learning about new cultures and trying new things.
So what is Diwali and how can you introduce the celebration/culture to your little one?
Diwali or “Deepavali” means row of lights and is commonly referred to as the festival of lights. It is a significant festival in India. It is celebrated on different days each year because the day is determined by the moon’s position (lunar calendar).
During this festival people light up their homes and shops with Diyas (oil made from clay) and Rangolies (patterns created on the floor or tabletops using materials such as powdered limestone, dry rice flour, coloured sand or flowers). Indians will celebrate with family gatherings, festive fireworks, share sweets, and decorate with flowers.
Fun craft you can do at home:
Paint a Diya and light them up at night.
Rangoli. There are many ways you can do this and it can be adapted for your child’s abilities.
(Diwali Vocabulary Printable with Picture) 3 and up
(Diwali Matching game) 1-2
Keep it simple and use this as an opportunity to awaken curiosity of the world around.
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