Guardian Balmain Cove Celebrate Diwali Through Colour and Art
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During October, Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, is celebrated around the world. The children at Guardian Balmain Cove were fortunate to have their own celebration this month, which included traditional dress, dancing and art.
Balmain Cove Educational Leader, Menaka, and Nursery Room Leader, Pabitra, came together to reflect on the celebration and share some of the events and experiences they hosted throughout the week.
“In our country of Nepal, we celebrate with lights and sweets. We clean our houses before painting and decorating both inside and outside of the house with lights,” shares Menaka and Pabitra.
“We also practice dancing for months in the lead up to Diwali, and each day, groups of people dance around different communities where we get money as blessings from each family.”
To celebrate at the centre, the team set up fairy lights and explored colour with the children, drawing Rangoli using coloured rice powder. Some of the Educators also brought in outfits and accessories, such as bindi, bangles and colourful saries and kurties for the children and Educators to explore.
Other activities included sharing stories about Diwali, teaching the children an Indian dance called Bharadha natiyam, and enjoying a delicious Indian chicken curry prepared by centre chef, Jess.
“In terms of preparation, it only took a couple of weeks to organise the timetable and resources. The whole team pitched in and made it a really enjoyable experience,” explains Menaka and Pabitra.
“From there, it was about communicating with the families and children so they could understand what, how and why we were celebrating.”
“It was amazing to see the children and families appreciate the celebrations and curious to know more. The children danced to music that was unfamiliar to them, put bindi on their forehead and loved the food.”
The team noted that the celebration was a great way for the Educators to bond and get to know each other better.
“We’ve had some new Educators start with us over the last couple of months, and as we talked about the celebrations and shared outfits and accessories, it helped to build the relationships amongst the team,” says Menaka and Pabitra.
The team also explained how they achieved two significant learning outcomes through the celebration.
- Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
“Even though the festival was completely different to what the children and families know, they respected the activities and responded fairly. All of our team and families participated with the understanding of reciprocal rights as a community.”
- Children are confident and involved learners.
“It was amazing to see children intrigued by the colours we had on the day. They recognised the ornaments were different and showed great interest in it, demonstrating their enthusiasm for learning and finding out more about their world. They expressed curiosity by coming up to the Educators, touching the colours on their outfits and communicating their understanding.”
After receiving such a positive response to the celebration, the team have decided to add a dressing up area and more colours into the Nursery room, and look forward to introducing more music from a range of cultures into the rooms.
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