By Maya Major, Director of Operations and Corporate Relations
At Vivvi, we want all of our children to develop a strong sense of who they are, and we do this by celebrating children’s families, culture, and the holidays they celebrate. Many of the holidays at this time of year include lights in their celebrations. Today is Diwali, the Festival of Lights, celebrating the victory of light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Traditionally, families clean and fill their entire homes with candles, lamps, lights, and sweets, preparing for a prosperous year ahead.
The Diwali observers on the Vivvi team have been sharing their favorite stories of the holiday. I remember melting ghee (butter) with my Nani (grandmother) and squishing the warm gooey butter into cotton balls with my hands. We’d spread out the cotton balls and pinch the centers into little bow ties, one side being molded into a ball and the other coiled tightly into a wick. We would then place these into little clay pots to make our own candles.
Our Education Director, Navita, grew up in the countryside of Guyana and her family would collect mud from the fields by her house. They would mold the mud a month in advance into every shape and size to form the bases of their diyas (candles). On the day of Diwali, her mother would make a giant fresh batch of ghee and would fill each candle that had been outside drying for weeks. She and her siblings would spread the candles on stairs, tables, windows, and all over the front yard, and the whole neighborhood would stop by to watch them light up the night sky.
We are excited to share these traditions with our students at Vivvi, taking full advantage of our school’s use of clay in art and our cooking curriculum. See these easy to use instructions from Instructables (CLICK HERE), if you want to try making diyas at home. Happy Diwali!