Close your eyes and imagine you are walking through the streets of India during the Holi Festival, with colours everywhere, beautiful music and lively dancing. Now open your eyes, it’s still the same experience but instead you’re at Kids Academy Penrith in New South Wales.
At Lifelong Learning Centres we encourage all our Educators to share their cultural diversity with children and in Penrith the team is lucky enough to have two native Indian Assisting Educators to pass on their culture.
Damneet Kaur and Monika Tandon work together at the centre to bring lifelong learning to life by sharing festivals, stories and traditions with the children and bringing colour to every day.
“I migrated to Australia in 2015, I knew that I was here to impart my knowledge, creativity, craziness, ethics and culture,” says Monika.
“I wanted to work in a challenging but bright and colourful environment full of joy to resurrect my creativity and bring out my inner child.”
“I am originally from India and the city called Chandigarh which is a metro city and a capital of Punjab,” says Damneet.
“My cultural heritage is Punjabi culture or also called Sikh culture.”
“Punjab has the rich cultural heritage from a long history of time. This word originates from the Persian language panj meaning five and ab meaning water. Combined together it becomes Panjab i.e. land of five rivers.”
“All of the rivers start and flow out of the Himalayas. Nowadays Punjabi culture is seen all over the world."
Monika and Damneet worked together to celebrate the Holi Festival at the centre in 2019.
“Holi Festival is a festival of colours. We celebrated this in our centre by making children see all the colours and spread happiness and laughter by throwing colours on each other and wishing them a Happy Holi,” says Damneet.
“We also gave a little colour on the faces of the educators to feel the festival.”
“We played water balloon games and danced to Bollywood music.”
“This is so important as India has its roots in the diverse components of culture, i.e. musical heritage, dances, sculpturing and other fine arts, festivities, languages spoken, traditional beliefs, customs and food,” says Monika.
“Indian culture is a big blend of varying styles and influences.”
We are constantly inspired by the teachings our Educators from other cultures can bring. In Indian culture, there is a big emphasis on bringing everyone together and the feeling of warmth and conclusion. These are traits we strive to include in all our lifelong learning teachings and we thank all our culturally diverse Educators for their input.