The Holiday Season Knocking at the Door – The Best Time of the Year in London

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santa is looking into the house

The holidays are knocking at the door and it is time again to have fun with mumma and dadda. Even though Christmas is far away, it is time to celebrate the Hindu festivals – Dussehra and Diwali. Last year mumma told me that Diwali is the festival of lights and during Dussehra we celebrate the end of evil. That is the reason why we burn the effigy of Ravana, who was a demon in Ramayana. He was the bad guy who took away Sita from Ram and held her captive in his kingdom. Hanuman, helped Ram to bring back Sita and kill Ravana. I told my friends about the significance of Dussehra; but they want to know the entire story. I told them to come home during the weekend and hear the story from mumma. Mumma said she will get a Ramayana DVD which we can watch to understand why we celebrate Dussehra.

We celebrate the major Hindu festivals in London with friends and family every year and the happy times are back. It is time to go shopping for new clothes and crackers. I love this time even more because mumma makes homemade sweets; if you get to eat them you will never eat sweets from the sweet shops. They are delicious and mouth-watering. I told mumma this time I want to buy a traditional Indian dress for Diwali; mumma said she will buy me one. I asked nanu to come over to our place if she can; she manages to come we can have even more fun. She is an amazing cook and knows a lot of stories about Indian gods.

Trafalgar Square in London is the place where all Indian gather to celebrate Diwali and Dussehra. Last time we went, there were live dance and music shows going on. There are several stalls which serve authentic Indian food; but I will homemade food because my mumma is the best cook. Some community halls even arrange for Navaratri celebrations where people dance and sing for nine days. Dandiya and garba are the main dance forms but you can do anything you want. I want to visit one Navaratri celebration this year and learn garba. I have seen garba videos and it seems so graceful.  Christmas is amazing in London, but there is a different charm during Diwali and Dussehra.

If you have never visited Trafalgar Square during this period of time, I would say you should. You can feel the Indian culture and experience the traditions. Last year mumma and dadda invited guests to our place and we had a great time bursting crackers together. I hope they come over this year also. I wait for this time of the year because everyone comes home with gifts, chocolates, sweets and dry fruits. Mumma and dadda also give away gifts to the guests.

Just two to go and we will start celebrating! I can’t wait anymore….time fly away quickly…please!

Storytelling Activity in School

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Little girl and preschool teacher reading a book at kindergarten.

Another interesting week is coming ahead. Our teacher informed us that on 16th we will have a storytelling activity at school. The class was divided into small groups of four and each group has to enact a story. Each of the groups will be given a story and we will have to prepare accordingly. The best part, we have to dress up like the character and tell the story.

We were give the ‘Mouse and the Lion’. The story is about a little mouse that enters a lion’s den and gets caught. When the lion was about to eat the mouse, it said, leave me today and I will help surely help you someday. The lion was surprised and said, you are such a small creature, how will you save me. The mouse said, time will tell. But for that you will have to leave me today! The lion was quite impressed and allowed the mouse to leave.

A few days later, hunters came into the jungle and set traps to catch animals. The lion fell inside one trap and got caught in a net. He got very scared and screamed for help. The mouse was passing by when he heard the lion’s scream. He came running and saw the helpless lion. The lion said save me my friend, as you promised me. The mouse quickly cut the net with this sharp tooth and set the lion free.

The moral of the story: as you sow, so shall you reap. If you help someone, you will get it back someday.

I will be the mouse and my friend will be the lion. The other two friends would narrate the story. When I came back home I told mumma about the activity and she was very excited. When dadda came home I enacted the entire story in front of them. They were really impressed. However, I will just play the role of the mouse, I said. But how will I dress like a mouse? Mumma said don’t worry. Remember you dressed as a mermaid last time? I will manage it this time as well. My friend who will become the lion stays close to my house, so we will practice every evening, so that our act is the best. We will start practising from Monday, so we can spend this weekend playing and start rehearsing from Monday.

Mumma said, this is a great opportunity to show your talent so give in your best. She also said that I must say the dialogues loudly and clearly so that everyone can hear them. Actions and expressions are a must to make a play look appealing, so I should practice them very well. Even mumma and dadda had to participate in storytelling competitions when they were in school. But this is just an activity and not a competition. Mumma also said, every story has a moral behind it, so we should remember them and act accordingly.

So it would be a busy week ahead. Keep in touch and stay happy!