Lower Campus celebrated the beginning of Spring with an interactive Holi learning experience last Thursday. Through several special guest and student-led experiences, the celebrations aimed to build an understanding of the cultural significance of the Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil.

Facilitated by Lower Campus Head of Community & Culture, Elisse Hayes, and parent volunteers, the learning started with nine students representing Grades 1, 4, and 5 each sharing their knowledge and experiences of the celebration. There were two presentations, the first to Preschool students in the morning and the second to Lower School students in the afternoon. Big smiles of encouragement could be seen from the students in the crowd as they watched their classmates on stage.

  • Uma S, Class of 2030
  • Vikram Y, Class of 2031
  • Indira S, Class of 2031
  • Krish C, Class of 2030
  • Ava C, Class of 2030
  • Luca V, Class of 2034
  • Mila K, Class of 2034

Mila K, Class of 2034, followed the student’s presentations with a Bollywood dance, the type of dance and music played in the streets of India during the Holi festival. The video of her beautiful performance can be found below.

After these students took to the stage to share their knowledge and traditional dance moves with their peers, they headed to the Lower Campus field, gathered in circles, and tossed colored chalk into the air, experiencing firsthand why Holi is known as the “Festival of Colors.” The event was a success, with students and teachers alike excited about the celebration and the opportunity for cross-cultural learning.

The Holi learning celebrations came together thanks to curiosities sparked a week earlier at MV’s first MVGlobal event. The MVGlobal event showcased food and artifacts from different cultures brought by families throughout the School and ignited students’ curiosity and interest in learning about other traditions.

Vanita Vaswani and Bhakti Kothary, both parents of Grade 1 students were instrumental in organizing this year’s Holi event. Ms. Vaswani recalls a similar experience she implemented with Ms. Kothary in their students’ class, “Last year, we brought Holi to the Kindergarten class and the kids had such a great time. We thought, why not get more classes involved this year? My son, Luca, had so much fun sharing his culture with his friends and I could see that Bhakti’s daughter and the other students that presented this year had a great time sharing too. There is so much value in bringing events like this to Mount Vernon. The world is so small now that if kids grow up not knowing about other cultures, it’s a disadvantage.”

Opportunities like these also give students the chance to practice their presenting and public speaking skills, as well as foster deeper connection and understanding with their classmates.

Many thanks to the parents who helped organize the MVGlobal and Holi events. Thank you to the other parents who helped organize the Holi experience for our Lower and Preschool students!

Vanita Vaswani
Bhakti Kothary
Anshu Siwach
Anisha Madan
Dr. Payal Fadia