Secondary students at BISS were treated to a literal taste of Diwali (the Festival of Lights) this week. There were student-led stalls with traditional snacks and drinks, and henna design, all with the backdrop of some amazing harmonium (similar to an accordion) performers. And in the spirit of the festival, we had a bright and colourful non-uniform day as well as some candle and rangoli making at lunchtimes in the week.
On the day, student volunteers from Years 7, 8, 9 and12 delivered a very informative assembly about how and why we celebrate Diwali, along with their own retelling of the story of Rama and Sita in the Ramayana. Our IB students also led some younger Year 7 students in a master class of mango lassi making (a flavoured yoghurt drink) while some older students learnt to make pani puri (a traditional Indian street food) led by some of our more culinary-skilled teachers. If that wasn't enough, students were able to complete another page of their "Passport" by travelling to India via our travel-inspired photo booth, whilst learning about the country and its Diwali celebrations along the way. It was also great to have so much support from the school community and our parent volunteers, who spent the afternoon not only helping to set up the event (not to mention the planning beforehand) but also talking to students and explaining what the festivities meant to them and how they celebrate Diwali.
Internationalism is one of BISS Puxi’s Five Pillars of education alongside Academic Excellence, Performing Arts, STEAM and Sport. Providing our students with the opportunity to experience different cultures, customs and enjoy diversity in all its forms develops well-rounded, open-minded individuals. It allows students to develop a curiosity for the world they live in as well as respect for other cultures. What also makes these events even more special is our students’ willingness to get involved and try new things and to show leadership skills in leading and planning these events. Our school community is massively diverse, and it was great for students to be able to share their own culture and traditions with their peers, who in turn, showed lots of enthusiastic participation.
Happy Diwali everyone!
Diwali at BISS by Svea Andreasson in 8B
This week, we celebrated a Hindu tradition called Diwali (Festival of Lights). As part of the Diwali Planning Team, some students and I created a play about Rama and Sita and how they defeated the evil god Ravana in the Ramayana to explain to our friends what the story of Diwali is about. The tale is about how good always defeats the bad and light always wins over darkness. After a few weeks practising, we finally performed this in front of the whole of Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) in a morning assembly.
We also did lots of fun activities around school! We were able to make diyas (candles) and rangolis in the STEAM room during lunchtime. There have also been some cooking events and we made some traditional Indian food in the day. At home we were able to create our own Diwali sweets called burfi using a simple recipe from school and bringing them in for others to try.
For me as a Swedish person it has been a really fun experience to learn about a new culture and actually try to do different activities from that culture, and not just learn about it in a book. I think trying out different activities from different countries and cultures is a very good and fun way of learning.