Thursday, October 14, 2010

Diwali, Festival of Lights

In our Nepali book project we are about to start our folktale gathering  in Laconia, NH.  But the five-day celebration of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, is about to begin in Laconia's Bhutanese community.  Diwali to Hindus is a little like Christmas to Christians and means feasting and giving gifts and lighting lanterns in the windows.

The Saffron Tree children's book review blog recommends the children's book  A Festival of Lights and Fun by Manisha Kumar and Monica Kumar.  

Here's a coloring sheet for children which includes images  of Diwali symbols and art, like the one above.

People are way too busy cooking and preparing gifts to record stories.  Our book committee had a meeting last night in the library in Laconia which truly mixes up the cultures because it looks like a medieval castle.  Hari Sharma and Dal Rai told us that Facebook is a good way to share the folktales we collect.  They said all their family in Nepal is on Facebook.  When we begin recording,  watch for links on our future Facebook page.

At the meeting I got to meet Jenna Carroll-Plante who is director of the Laconia Historical and Museum Society which is also housed in the castle.  She is collecting photos and stories to document the growing Bhutanese community in Laconia and is also working on the New Hampshire Bhutanese Media Project with the Red River Theatre in Concord.  We are so so lucky to be working with Jenna. 

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