culture through dance, song, story and treats
Diwali is thetraditional Hindu festival of lights. Colorful
dances, shimmering costumes, glowing candles and good wishes are a part of the
annual fall event. The celebration is an official holiday in many countries
around the globe.
More than 40 Hilldale Elementary School families united
to create this exciting and educational assembly.
Students from kindergarten through fifth grade performed
for the entire student body of 337. The assembly was held on Tuesday, November
The school’s multi-purpose room was vibrantly decorated
by glistening veils and sparkling designs.
Cheers of excitement reverberated off the walls as
classmates, dressed in traditional and modern costumes, took to the runway or
The origin story of Diwali was told through video. Customs,
wise sayings and poetry were shared by student speakers. New vocabulary, such
as diyas (lamps and candles), rangoli (colorful decorations) and mithai (sweets), was introduced.
The First Annual Diwali event was organized by the Hilldale Parent
Teacher Council. Students volunteered to take part in the various programs
which highlighted ancient celebrations as well as modern Bollywood dances.
“We have a large population of students who celebrate Diwali,” said
Principal Jill Cisneros. “We are so excited to have an opportunity to learn about
this bright, beautiful and treasured tradition.”
The highly anticipated celebration took more than 5 months to plan. The
morning culminated in a school-wide dance lesson, led by AUM dance creations. Dance
teachers from AUM studio donated time to teach student performers all of the classic
and modern dances that were presented.
Gadarla, Raji Thata, Triveni Kabat, Anjali Arora, Neha Rai, Vijaya Hegde,
Savitha Pollapally, Priti Gupta, Bhavani Podipireddy, Latha Agnel, Shilpi
Sinha, Saritha Gurram, Deepa Tiwari Sharma, Kalyani Sataluri, Jaya Sahani, Mounika
Nandhyala and Susana Agrusti organized the event which featured over 50
Parent, Susana Agrusti was also the master of
ceremonies for the occasion.
“I have learned that when we come together as a
community anything is possible,” Agrusti told the students at the conclusion of
Her sentiments were met with thunderous applause and