On Thursday, November 4th, the Asian Student Union organized a school-wide celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights. To honor this holiday, they hung up colorful garlands, traditionally made of marigold and jasmine petals, and lined the stairway walls with posters. Outside the building, several students drew chalk rangolis, traditional and intricate patterns that represent prosperity and happiness, to welcome students on the special occasion. Along the lunchroom balconies, they installed a series of posters that detailed the Ramayana, the origin story of Diwali. Here, students read the epic and viewed art associated with the story to learn more about the holiday’s history. During lunchtime, ASU set up a table with diyas, small clay pots to place tea lights in, honoring the return of Rama to Ayodhya in the story of the Ramayana. Passing students were able to decorate and personalize their diyas, which were then transferred to the front desk for anyone entering the building to admire.
The next day, high school ASU members welcomed Susie’s second grade class to the “big building.” First, high schoolers described the history of Diwali and the story of the Ramayana to the young students. Then, using an ASU member’s grandmother’s rangoli designs, the second graders drew chalk rangolis outside the building. It was a lovely bonding experience and a wonderful opportunity to share a major celebration of Indian culture with all members of the Saint Ann’s community. Enjoy a few photos from the day below!