At Wilson’s, Diwali is widely celebrated in our school community and is therefore something we proudly acknowledge and highlight.
Diwali or Deepvali, translating literally to “row of lights”, is the five-day Festival of Lights and Unity. This year it falls in November, from the 12th until the 16th, but households celebrate it differently—such as over the course of a weekend, including the practice of clearing out one’s home to prepare for the festival. It is one of the most cherished festivals within India, Nepal and other Hindu and Sikh communities worldwide. Diwali celebrates new beginnings, the victory of good over evil, the victory of light over darkness and the perseverance of knowledge in the face of ignorance.
Although Diwali is identified by so many people, there are variations in how it’s celebrated, depending on where it’s celebrated and the religion the people belong to.
Tejas and Arsh in Year 13, the founders of the Hindu Society at Wilson's, have shared the spiritual and personal meaning of the festival to them:
“Diwali is a time of great joy, as we all celebrate the new Hindu year. This allows us to remove all bad habits from our lives and bring in the good. Diwali is a period of reflection where we all pray together, and it reminds us that good always triumphs evil.” Tejas
“To me, Diwali is a period of prayer, cleansing and socialising amongst Hindus to celebrate Raam's victory over Raavan.” Arsh
At Wilson’s, the DT club have designed colourful lanterns. As you can see from the image, these are beautiful and have taken pride of place in the foyer to celebrate the significance of the festival to so many of our students and the wider school community.
In addition, Adhvaith in Year 11, a member of the Equalities Team, has also produced slides to inform their peers about the significance of the festival to so many of our students, considering the differences in its celebration and meanings for different religions and cultures.
Over the next week, students will be invited to share how they have celebrated Diwali this year and in previous years, to educate peers and observe the festivals religious and cultural significance to them.
Diwali is a time of renewal, reflection, and community transcending religious and cultural boundaries. It spreads the message of hope, positivity, and the triumph of light over darkness.
Myles, Year Thirteen