Preschoolers learn to make Deepavali treats and decorations

  • Metro News
  • Monday, 05 Nov 2018

(Above) Teachers showing the children how to make murukku. (Right photo from left) Reine Chan, Sonia Loh, Dhaneeyah Mitraa and Qalesya expressing gratitude for the traditional treats they are about to partake.

ABOUT 100 excited kindergarten children experienced the Festival of Lights with friends of different races and backgrounds.

The children aged between two and six, along with 15 teachers, enjoyed a three-hour Deepavali celebration at Leaderland kindergarten in Bukit Jambul, Penang.

“This is the first time we are celebrating Deepavali on a large scale as we have more Indian pupils this year,” said Leaderland kindergarten co-founder Ann Lim.

She said most of the little ones were happy to wear traditional Indian or Punjabi clothing at the celebration.

The merry event kicked off with the children watching a slide show on the background story of Deepavali.

K. Jaiyshnna, six, added even more colour to the celebration by performing an Odissi dance.

Teachers T. Usha (third left) and Mabel Lim (right) helping the children to light up a lamp during the Deepavali celebration at the kindergarten.

Odissi is an Indian classical dance which originated in the Hindu temples of Odisha.

Their teacher G. Tharishini then amazed the kids by showing them how to make murukku, a traditional Indian snack.

Other traditional treats which delighted the children were coconut candy, laddu (sphere-shaped sweets), jalebi (deep-fried maida flour batter which is soaked in sugar syrup), kallu urandai (made using peanuts and chickpea flour), ghee balls and halva (a sweet confection).

The occasion got even merrier when the children sang Indian songs from ‘Taal’, a 1999 Indian musical.

Tharishini along with her fellow teachers U. Loshini and U. Thanavalan spent one week preparing for the joyous occasion.

A day before the celebration, the Indian teachers made a big kolam using coloured rice for the children to see for themselves.

Then at the actual party, the children had fun making their own miniature kolam.

“The Indian teachers contributed a lot of ideas to make this event happen.

“At our kindergarten, teachers from various races are in charge of different festivals,” Lim said, adding that the kindergarten kids also got to celebrate other major festivals such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Christmas and Merdeka Day.

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