Greetings to all our Pupuke Kāhui Ako colleagues. This is the first of our “Culture Defines” newsletters. Each publication will highlight one of the many ethnic groups within our community so that we can learn more about each other and our ākonga. This edition highlights our Indian community and it is timely that we do this now as we celebrate Diwali. The “culture defines” resources that we will share with you will provide a snapshot of a culture. They will allow us to gain some insights into the social and cultural environment of where our staff, students and parents come from. The practices and behaviours may or may not represent every single person from that culture. People around the world are constantly adapting and changing as society evolves. Our aim is to highlight some of the characteristics and elements of the mainstream culture. We must remember that people may come from the same country and yet have a different background and experiences.
Here is a quote from Dr Melinda Webber at the WENZ conference. Let’s “continue to help children feel proud of who they are, where they come from and what their culture has to offer the world. As the world around them diversifies, it will become more important to be aware of the values and practices of our own culture/s. We also need to have an appreciation and willingness to learn about other cultures”.
– Julie Saikkonen, Lead Principal
Indian Festival – Diwali
Namaste. This year the Hindi Festival Diwali (Festival of Lights), the Indian New Year is on Saturday, 14 November. It represents the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Light is used to signify positivity, knowledge and prosperity for the upcoming year. Diwali is celebrated with terracotta diyas, delicious sweets and snacks. Prayers are offered to the Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity and good fortune. Homes are decorated with rangoli (colourful floor decorations) and lights. Wish शुभदवाल (Shubh Diwali/Deepavali) to your Indian peers, staff and whānau.
– Ritu Sehji