Students in Sarah Rotter’s fourth grade class recently learned about Indian traditions, with a focus on the Diwali celebration that occurred in late October. Parents and grandparents who celebrate the holiday brought clothing, food, books, and maps to share what it’s like growing up in an Indian family.

Here are a few facts the students took away from the experience:

  • India is the largest democracy in the world
  • The currency in India is called a rupee
  • Diwali, also known as Deepavali and the “festival of lights,” is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn each year.
    • The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
  • bindi is a forehead decoration most frequently worn in South Asia. Each girl in the class received one from the visiting parents.
  • Rakhi means “sacred thread.” Sisters tie a rakhi around their brothers’ wrists to symbolize sibling love and respect. The bracelets are given during the Hindu festival Raksha Bandhan, which in Sanskrit literally means “the tie or knot of protection.” Each boy in the class received a rakhi.

View a photo gallery of the lesson!