November 16, 2018

Diwali Returns to the Elementary Campus

Thank you to parents Aparna Bhargava and Asha Kumar for sharing the following story about this year’s Diwali celebration at our elementary campus. 

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is the most celebrated Indian holiday, and Oakwood’s second Diwali celebration, held on Friday November 9th at the Elementary Campus, was a huge success. Over 500 people attended—all students, faculty, administration, prospective and current parents!

The pathway to the gym was decorated by the 5th and 6th grade children with beautiful Rangoli, a traditional Indian decorative art made with colored powder and fresh flowers. The festivities began with an Indian “Dhol” drum player who led the students in a lively musical procession to the gym. Marigold flowers (widely used in decorations in India) and a line of Diyas (traditional clay candle holders) with flickering candles welcomed the children. The tables were beautifully decorated with colorful sarees, and lamps and artifacts.

The assembly began with 1st grade Dad, Anil Punyapu, telling the children about the story of Diwali, why it is known as the Festival of Lights, and the celebratory traditions that surround this special holiday. Some of the children spoke, and shared their favorite Diwali traditions with the audience.

The celebrations continued with a performance from the incredibly talented UCLA Bruin Bhangra Dance Team. Bhangra is a highly energetic and fun Punjabi Indian folk dance. The dancers taught the children a few fun Indian dance moves, and had everyone on their feet!

The celebrations ended with a “Diwali Taste of India,” offering the students and staff some of the traditional Indian snacks and sweets served during this holiday.

It was another spectacular Diwali celebration! Special thanks to the parents and families of Indian origin who collaborated and worked hard together to share their Indian heritage with the Oakwood community!

Special thanks to Aparna Bhargava, Sharmistha Chatterjee, Arpita Diamond, Kalpa Gargi, Ramya Giangola, Priya Girishankar, Maya Johar, Asha Kumar, Poonam Kumar & Vani Lewerke.

Enjoy the photo gallery below by clicking the arrows to the right and left of the pictures.