Teachers and students of Cornwall Park District School in Greenlane were joined by the parents and families on Friday, November 16 in celebrating the festival of lights- Diwali at the school premises.

The school has hosted the biggest festival of the Indian community for the last two years and took a step ahead this year with a much grand celebration.

The enthusiasm of the festival was evident amongst the young students as they put henna on their hands, participated in face painting, dance and singing activities and their colourful Indian wear.

The school premises were decorated with Rangoli and lightings all around the campus with Indian sweets and cuisines for everyone.

Jenine Irwin, the Principal of the school, told The Indian Weekender, “Diwali is always an anticipated event each year, as it provides a wonderful opportunity for our Indian children and their families to celebrate their culture, while also allowing children of other cultures to learn more about the Indian culture.”

“All children are invited to wear traditional Indian dress for the day and staffs also get into the spirit of the day by dressing in cultural attire.  

“During the morning children across the school take part in a range of art and language activities, as well as having the opportunity to sample some Indian treats supplied by parents.

“This is followed by an afternoon assembly where children share what they have learnt as well as highlighting children who learn Indian dance and traditional instruments.  

“A highlight for staff is always the wonderful feast that parents provide for them at lunchtime, and it also creates a great opportunity for staff and parents to get to know each other a little better,” Ms Irvin said.

Meanwhile, several parents participating in the school celebrations told the Indian Weekender that they really appreciated school’s effort in celebrating one of India’s biggest festivals as it gives their children an opportunity to feel proud of their roots and culture.

“We are glad to see such cultural inclusiveness in the school and the enthusiasm from non-Indian students and staffs for Diwali- which is truly incredible,” a parent contributing to the Diwali celebrations at the school said.

“I have clearly seen my eight-year-old son becoming more confident and acceptable of his Indian roots and identity, ever since the festival of Diwali was started being celebrated in his school,” another excited parent told the Indian Weekender.

Echoing similar sentiments of rejoicing a teaching staff at the school, Mrs Swati Verma said, “The students were excited for Diwali at the school event, and we made sure we would provide every effort to make this day memorable for them.”

School Principal, Mrs Irwin expressed thanks to everyone including children, parents, and teaching staff, in particular, Mrs Dev Singh, who has been spearheading in planning and coordinating to make this festival in school success.  

“This event would not be possible if it were not for the hard work put in by teacher Dev Singh, who coordinated the event, other teachers who helped along with the huge amount of parents who give up their time to ensure that this celebration is so successful,” Mrs Irwin said.