Wednesday, October 5, 2011

India field trips: Little India

Singapore's Little India is sparkling with Diwali lights and humming with festival activity.  Though Diwali comes at the end of the month, there are a couple of festivals preceding it, and preparations for Diwali itself are underway.

Diwali is the Festival of Lights.  It celebrates the story of the Ramayana, and the victory of good over evil.  In India, it is an especially colorful and festive time.  There's some great background information and ideas for teaching kids about Diwali on the Gnaana blog.  We'll be putting some of them to use ourselves this month.

Our Little India has a Diwali market of its own, setting the mood for a month of celebrations.  Here's a taste of what we saw.  Check around and see if there's any decorations up in your favorite Indian restaurant or market!

the main road, lit up for blocks
firecrackers are a big part of the celebrations in India, and they find their way into the Singapore market too
bangles in all colors and sparkles
a stand selling things needed for devotional activities - coconuts, flowers, ghee, and fruits
diyas are candles that are lit on Diwali; oil/ghee is poured into these small clay vessels with a small string to create a candle
diyas come in all shapes and sizes
colorful decorations
peacock feathers!
namkeen, or Indian snack foods
mendhi (henna) artists provide lots of options for decorated hands and feet

colorful boxes

more colorful decorations

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