The Grimsby Institute held two Diwali themed events for learners this week, with almost 400 learners finding out more about the festival with music, dancing and traditional food.
Diwali is known as the festival of lights and is essentially the celebration of good triumphing over evil and is celebrated over five days by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and some Buddhists in a variety of ways.
Diwali falls on a different date each year, traditionally falling between mid-October and mid-November and is dictated by the Hindu Lunar Calendar.
Learners were invited to the theatre in the Grimsby School of Art where Virginia Collins, Quality Manager – Community Manager & Flexible Learning, spoke about the festival and introduced a specially-created dance performance and guest speaker.
Guest speaker, Harshad Taylor, Grimsby Institute’s Executive Director of ICT & Learning Technology, spoke to staff and learners about the importance of Diwali in his family. Harshad said:
“Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. A lot of people have heard of Diwali but do they know how it is celebrated and what happens during the celebrations? Diwali is one of the biggest things in the Hindu calendar because it also coincides with the Hindu New Year. It’s a really vibrant time for us.
“The kids love it because they get a lot of sweet things to eat and a lot of gifts and it’s good to get together with friends and families. The local Hindu Temple in Grimsby is open to everyone. Anyone from any religion or background can attend. I wish everyone a Happy Diwali and a Happy New Year.”
Level 2 Performing Arts learners performed a special Diwali themed dance, Choreographed by Tutor, Stephanie Greenwood, with music created by BA Creative Music Student, Somansh Kumar Pal, who also assisted with the Choreography. Somansh, 20, said:
“I composed the piece that the learners danced to and Stephanie and I choreographed the dance. I even got one of my friends to sing on the track. It took about three weeks to create. I’ve really enjoyed it. Diwali is all about celebrating with everyone, loving each other, and celebrating peace. It’s also about analysing what you have done over the last year and deciding what you can do better next year.”
Learners were also given the chance to sample some mithai, traditional sweets made for Diwali, with learners from Care, Brickwork, Fabrication & Welding joined by many other areas for the event.
Brett Vauvert, Brickwork Tutor, said: “I’d just like to say what a fantastic show we have sat through this afternoon, I personally found it extremely educational and interesting. As a tutor that enjoys surprising his learners my group where 100% oblivious to what they were attending this afternoon, their reaction was complimentary to all involved in the Diwali session and they were engaged throughout.
“On discussing it afterwards, all of the learners were extremely positive and now have a clear understanding of the festival. The learners even commented on the dancers saying ‘how brave and confident they were’ and ‘I dare to walk on a building site and ask for a job, I couldn’t do that in front of all those people’ A great show, great experience and well done to all involved.”