The recent curious weather in London where we have experienced wind, rain and fog, and a bright red sun, reminds us that we are moving rapidly into a change of season. Autumn is clearly with us.
Next comes the change to the hours, and the sense of shortening days. And we recognise that things are only going to get worse in terms of wild weather and longer nights.
It is definitely time for something to brighten up these dark evenings, and conveniently three major celebrations fall around this time of the year. Over half term our school community will be celebrating Diwali, Halloween, and Bonfire Night. All of these allow us to dress up, or down, get together with friends and family, eat fun food, and sparkle! Do enjoy these occasions over the coming days.
With a significant number of Hindu families living in and around North London, I wanted to share the story of Diwali with the school community and thought I would do so too in this blog.
Diwali: For Hindus this is a New Year festival lasting from one to five days, during which fireworks are set off and lights are hung out. It is a festival of light, coinciding with the darkest night of the lunar month. Various interpretations are given to the festival in different parts of India, but it is generally associated with Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, or with the victorious return of Rama and Sita to the kingdom of Ayodhya after their exile. Diwali marks the beginning of the Indian financial year.
The story which dominates Diwali is one which incorporates villains and heroes, magic and mystery, horror and celebration. In a nutshell Prince Rama is banished from his kingdom with his wife Sita who is then kidnapped by the wicked god Ravanna. The monkey god Hanuman encourages the jungle animals to rescue Sita and the pair are restored to their rightful place in the Kingdom of Ayokhya. Ultimately goodness triumphs over evil and all is set right.
For those at Mill Hill School, the culture of Hinduism brought closer through the school’s overseas partnership with Sri Jayendra school in Tamil Nadu. We encourage our pupils to have a global outlook and to understand the world around them. It is worth noting, as we recognize this, that the country of India, by 2022 is set to become the most populous country in the world.