For KiNZ Mission Heights Early Learning Centre, cultural celebrations are a time of close connection between people, where children, teachers, families and whanau come together. The communal practice gives children a sense of belonging and boosts their morale and self-confidence.
This week was all about celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights where teachers collaborated with parents and whanau to plan and participate in activities and events with children.
Moulding oil lamps with clay was a therapeutic activity which attracted lots of children as they took time to decorate them with paint and patterns.
Ayaan’s mother, Sheetal, did henna art on the palms of little children. Young Kelly had the theory that henna art can be done with felt pens too, as she did some on Kaiako Sucheta’s hand.
Traditional dances and Indian music added more flavour to the celebration as older siblings performed for the young ones.
Adding a special flavour to the festive celebration was ‘gulab jamun’, an Indian desert and ‘aloo paratha’, flat bread with potato filling, which was cooked over two days. Budding little chefs joined hands with grandmas and mothers for an Indian culinary experience.
There was an assortment of mini samosas and Indian snacks as few families joined the tamariki (children) for lunch.