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Fairview Elementary kindergarten students learn about life in India

Neha Lala talks with students about various things from her country, including articles of clothing, books, toys, jewelry and various items decorated in typically ornate Indian design.

Kindergarten students in Polly Rowell's class at Fairview Elementary School got a taste of life in India recently when visited by an Indian family who now reside in the Fairview community.

Neha Lala shared stories and information about her native country, bringing articles of clothing, books, toys, jewelry and various items decorated in the typical ornate Indian design.

“She talked about transportation in India and showed pictures of their visit to the Taj Mahal,” Rowell said. “They also shared information about one of India’s famous festivals called Diwali.”

Diwali, popularly known as the "festival of lights,” is an official holiday in India; a five-day festival occurring between mid-October and mid-November. Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. Those who celebrate wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.

The Lala’s have two children who attend Fairview -- Ashutosh in Polly Rowell’s kindergarten class, and Pria, a student in Kelly Shelly’s fifth grade class.

“One of the highlights of their presentation was when all the little girls in the class got to wear sarees and bangle bracelets,” Rowell said. “Pria helped with the presentation as well. She shared about their trip to India this past summer.”

Before the Lala’s left, they gave each child a treat bag with Indian cookies, a rupee (the name of the currency in India) and a stamp with Gandhi on it. Mahatma Gandhi (1869 -1948) is officially honored in India as the Father of the Nation. He led nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women's rights, build religious and ethnic amity and increase economic self-reliance.

“The children were so pleased to learn about India and have this hands-on experience,” Rowell said. “

The Lala family plans to come back to Rowell’s class for India’s Kite Day Festival in mid January.

Written by: Polly Boling Rowell, Fairview kindergarten teacher
Posted: Jan 12, 2011 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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