Last week, our teenagers at Evolve Ojai participated in a fun and interesting diversity and cultural awareness group. This group coordinates with our gardening group and culinary creations group to introduce our teens to various aspects of the many different cultures around the world. They learn about celebrations and rituals that people hold dear. This group can spark interest in world geography, spiritual beliefs, cuisine, and customs.
Our goals for our diversity and cultural awareness groups – which we facilitate at all our Evolve locations – are important to our overall philosophy and mission. These goals include:
- Reducing ethnocentrism
- Promoting empathy
- Reducing prejudice
We find that the teens are innately curious and enjoy the historical and creative components of the curriculum – and they love these groups.
Diwali: A Celebration of Light
At the group in Ojai last week, our teens learned about Diwali, a.k.a Deepwali. Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. The word deepawali means “rows of lighted lamps.” It’s a festival of lights – and people of the Hindu faith celebrate it with joy. During Diwali, people light up their houses and shops with Diyas, which are small cup-shaped oil lamps made of baked clay.
Here are some pictures from our group and their celebration of light:
In addition to lighting candles and making traditional lanterns, our teen created palkova, a classic south Indian milk-based dessert. This traditional sweet recipe hails from Srivilliputhur, Tamil Nadu, India. Clients also made coconut ladoo, traditional Indian sweets made with coconut, cardamom powder, sugar, and milk. Both desserts are prepared during the festival season and are appropriate for any celebration or feast.
Feast your eyes on these:
They were delicious!