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PHOTO GALLERY! Hilldale Elementary hosts 1st Annual Diwali event

Students explore culture through dance, song, story and treats

Diwali is the traditional 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 15, 2016.

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 stage.

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.

Parents, Mamatha 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 students.

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 the assembly.

Her sentiments were met with thunderous applause and cheers.