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Thank you all for joining in with our Great Blue Grass Dress Up Day! What a lot of fun we had, showing off our costumes.
Next week, we move on to the topic of Diwali, the Hindu Festival, celebrated in many countries including India and Pakistan. The word Diwali means “rows of lighted lamps.” Diwali is known as the “Festival of Lights,” because houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware lamps called “Diya.”
For many Indian families, this five-day Festival honours Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. Some Hindus will say prayers for the Goddess for a successful year. Lamps are lit to help Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, find her way into people’s homes. In India, people leave their windows open so Lakshmi can find her way in. In Britain, as in India, it is a time for cleaning the home, wearing new clothes, exchanging gifts (often sweets or dried nuts), decorating buildings with fancy lights and, huge firework displays in celebration.
“Namaste” is a traditional Hindu greeting that translates to “The Divine in me, bows to the Divine in you.” This comes from the belief that everyone has light in them. This is very relevant at this time of the year, when LIGHT is the key to the celebrations.
At Nursery, this week, we will be exploring the spices that feature in Indian Food, smelling, playing with them in play dough and enjoying them in our food. All this week (except Wednesday!), the Menu features Indian-Inspired dishes ranging from Murg Makhani or Butter Chicken, to our favourites including Chick Pea Korma and Orange Coconut Curry. The Brook will be trying Naan Bread and, on Friday, they are making Raita to go with their toasted pita bread for Afternoon Tea. You can expect many hours of dressing up and dancing to traditional Indian Music. Most groups are making a version of the Diya to take home, so that you, too can have the light of Lakshmi enter your home.
We will also be making Rangoli at our Nursey Entrance. Rangoli is an art form from India, where patterns are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals. It is usually made during Diwali. The purpose of Rangoli is decoration, and it is thought to bring good luck. Design depictions may also vary as they reflect traditions, folklore and practices that are unique to each area. It is traditionally done by women. At Nursery, it is traditional for The Brook children to create a Rangoli pattern outside the front door of Nursery, where it can be seen but where it will not be spoiled.
Namaste, we hope you have a great week!