Upton pupils celebrate Diwali with music and dance

Celebrating Diwali at Upton

The traditional autumn festival of Diwali was celebrated in style by children at Upton Junior School in Broadstairs.

After exploring the religious origins of the important annual event, girls and boys enjoyed a Bollywood-style dancing workshop.

As part of their cultural experience, each year group learnt specific Bollywood hand movements and gestures in an active workshop of interpretation, music and movement.

They embraced how expression in the face and body can create energy and excitement during performance. They also tried on wrist and arm bangles to create the right feel and sound while they were moving. Some removed ties and shoes to add to the free flow of their routines.

They danced to traditional Bhangra music and learnt a routine, creating their own Bollywood pose at the end of their interpretation.

Year 6 teacher Izzy Reed who is leader of Personal Development at Upton ran the workshops. She was “blown away by the respect, positivity and enthusiastic involvement shown by the children.”

She added: “An integral part of Upton’s curriculum is cultural diversity – exploring different values and traditions that are present in our multicultural society.

“Our activities reflected this and celebrated the British value of mutual respect towards different cultures.

“I was very proud of the involvement of our girls and boys who really embraced the music, movement and meaning in this fantastic style of dancing.”

Diwali Factfile (from BBC Newsround). It is the five-day Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world.

Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest and new year celebrations, is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.

This year Diwali is over five days from November 2-6 with the main day of celebration on Thursday, November 4.

Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning ‘rows of lighted lamps’. Houses, shops and public places are decorated with small oil lamps called diyas. People also enjoy fireworks and sweets too, so it’s really popular with children