Burke’s held its annual assembly last week to celebrate Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights. While last year’s celebration saw the entire school gathering together in the gym, this year our community gathered via Zoom for songs, dancing, and video presentations from Burke’s families that celebrate Diwali.
The assembly began with attendees at home singing Diwali Dandiya by Manju Durairaj. Students and their families who celebrate Diwali were invited to wear traditional clothing for the celebration and both Upper and Lower School students who celebrate Diwali had the opportunity to take a leadership role in the assembly. Burke’s Upper Schoolers, Sarina, Uma, Amiya, and Jackie led everyone through a variety of activities to share the meaning of Diwali and customs. (Click here for a brief presentation from one of our families!)
Lower School student Aishi and her mom, Shweta J. read from the picture book, Let’s Celebrate Five Days of Diwali by Ajanta Chakraborty and Vivek Kumar. The story takes listeners on an adventure with Maya, Neel, and Chintu the squirrel, as they celebrate each day of the Festival of Lights from the first day, known as Dhanteras to the last day called Bhai Dooj. Lower Schooler Milaan helped Ms. Mandelstein lead the singing and mudra hand motions for the song, Ai, Diwali by Sri Karuna Mayee. All were invited to learn a dance specially choreographed just for Burke’s by Burke’s parent Sejal P. along with her two children - Sarina in Upper School and Sonia who is a Burke’s alum!Our assembly ended with the recognition of Kamala Harris’ position as the first Indian-American and Black woman to become the next Vice President of our country. Many thanks to Seema D. and Megan P. who provided bangles for all the students, and Aditi C. who organized the video sharings, and all the other parents who helped organize and plan the event with Lisa Mandelstein, LS Music Specialist and Director of Inclusivity and Community Building Quise Rodriguez Edwards.
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.