Push to get Diwali on Rocky Hill school calendar sparks conversation around inclusivity, cultural representation


ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) — There’s a push from some families in Rocky Hill to add Diwali to the school calendar. Now that campaign is sparking a larger conversation about inclusivity and cultural representation.

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is India’s most important holiday and festival of the year.

“It’s not just a religious celebration, it’s more a cultural celebration,” explained Haritha Nagabandi, of Rocky Hill.

Haritha Nagabandi has led Diwali celebrations at Rocky Hill’s public library for years, sharing the significance of the holiday with her community. She’s among those advocating for it to be added.

“It would be good to see it added a holiday for the kids in the school calendar,” said Nagabandi.

This discussion about Diwali has broadened the conversation to the larger topic of inclusivity of families in Rocky Hill. The idea of a Heritage Day is being explored by the town’s mayor and Town Councilor Pankaj Prakash.

Prakash shared with News 8 the vision for this day: “Parades, food, dances! That way, we will be inclusive!”

He said this way, all cultures are celebrated.

“We would like to get input and feedback from our community members as well as leaders in our community,” said Prakash.

Nagabandi’s family said they liked this idea as well, as no one would be overlooked.

The hope now is to have a conversation about this as a community and with the board of education to see where the idea can go.

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