Being a 1st generation raising and teaching children in a different culture, Teacher Vrinda certainly relates to all of us parents who for all the years of living here still hold dear some childhood festival memories. For Teacher Vrinda growing up in India in a Kashmiri household in the western state of Rajasthan, the experiences have always been multicultural. Going to a Catholic school involved Christmas, Good Friday, Easter along with all the Hindu holidays. Given the Kashmiri heritage with many interesting Persian commonalities Eid and Nauroz were just as dear. Growing up, some friends were Sikhs, Jain, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Muslim, Christian...each one comes with cultural associations which are so very fascinating.
Diwali was always enjoyed with new clothes, toys when kids, food, making Rangoli (mandalas) on the floor to beautify the house, enjoying sparklers at night most of all. Here at school we tried to capture some of the festive spirit making a clay Diya, playing with some new toys, coloring Rangoli on paper, making Rangoli on the floor in groups with stensils, eating Indian food and sharing sweets in the evening. Alexandra having heard how Diwali is celebrated on Monday remembered and asked to wear a new outfit in the morning as related by Dad. Loved the spirit and thought! We enjoyed seeing the t-shirt new to school :) Many kids came in their new/ethnic clothes which was lovely to see. Growing up in the Bay Area, understanding and enjoying multiple cultures is very beneficial for the kids. As always, Teacher Vrinda urges parents of every ethnicity to feel comfortable sharing the key festivals, cultural memories and foods so we can share it here together. With that, a Happy Diwali to all! May we all stay blessed, be surrounded with love and make as many memories.