QAHS celebrates Diwali and World Kindness Day

On Tuesday 13 November, the Bollywood CAS Group organised a morning ‘Pop-Up’ assembly to celebrate Diwali also known as ‘The festival of Lights.’ The dark Lecture Theatre was glowing as students received glow sticks to symbolise the message of “light in the darkness.” This festival marks the New Year on the Hindu calendar. This was the first time that the QA community got to be a part of such an auspicious celebration. The assembly was graced by the presence of Mrs. Vahini Panda who shared her fun-filled childhood experiences about Diwali and the significance the celebration plays in her life. Organising such celebrations is essential as it allows the strong rooted traditions of a culture to be shared and accepted. The Bollywood Dance Group performed a dance towards the end of the assembly to highlight that dance is an essential part of all celebrations in India.

The second section of the assembly was hosted by the Health and Well-being committee members celebrating World Kindness Day. The date decreed for World Kindness Day is 13 November as this was the opening day of the first World Kindness Movement conference held at Tokyo in 1998, and the 35th anniversary of the Small Kindness Movement of Japan, which brought the signatories of the ‘declaration of kindness’ of the World Kindness Movement together in 1997.

The purpose of World Kindness Day is to look beyond ourselves, beyond the boundaries of our country, beyond our culture, our race, our religion; and realise we are citizens of the world. As world citizens we have a commonality, and must realise that if progress is to be made in human relations and endeavours, if we are to achieve the goal of peaceful coexistence, we must focus on what we have in common. When we find likenesses we begin to experience empathy, and in such a state we can fully relate to that person or those people. While we may think of people from other cultures as being ‘different’, when we compare them with our own customs and beliefs, it doesn’t mean that we are any better than they are. When we become friends with someone from a different culture we discover that despite some obvious differences, there are many similarities.

In preparation for this kindness day, members of the Health and Wellness Committee, organised kindness shout-outs for the World Kindness Day Assembly. The committee requested these anonymous shout-outs from MLC classes and selected just a few of these to present at assembly, with the rest of the shout-outs being displayed on our gratitude board in the refectory. These shout-outs were very well received by the school, and I believe they really made some people’s day. As we celebrated World Kindness Day, we invited community members to look for ways to make kindness the norm in our daily lives. It is important to share these acts of kindness/shout-outs with others as, even though they may seem trivial, they can be the thing that makes a difference to someone.

World Kindness Day is a great day to begin building a new routine which means including intentional moments of kindness, laughter and delight. It also means taking a moment to enjoy and recognize when those things are happening. Kindness starts with one. One smile. One compliment. One cup of coffee. One conversation.

“The victory of good over evil” was the take home message from the assembly. Doing good isn’t always easy, but the story of Diwali shows us how choosing this difficult path ensures that we grow to become great human beings and help the world.

Nandini Kohli – Year 11 student, Bollywood CAS performer
Aidan Luchs – Year 10, Health and Well-being Ambassador