Ransom Everglades celebrated Diwali, the Festival of Lights, on both campuses with events that showcased traditional Indian dance, clothing, storytelling, food and arts and crafts. A visit by children’s author Mitali Banerjee Ruths kicked off the festivities at the middle school, which culminated in a sprawling carnival on Nov. 10 featuring a lighting of diyas, a fashion show, a video presentation, street food and dancing. At the upper school, dozens of students joined an impromptu Bollywood dance tutorial on the Lewis Family Auditorium stage before participating in a range of arts and crafts organized by the Asian Students Association in the Ansin Breezeway.
Maya Bhandari ’28, Misha Gowda ’28 and Shaan Tak ’29 presented the history and traditions of Diwali at the middle school, and Nina Tekriwal '25 and Anya Bhandari '25 of the Asian Students Association did the same for their peers at the upper school.
Students who participated in the middle school fashion show included Gowda, Ria Bhandari ’28, Sofiya Dewan ’29, Esha Nagalla ’29, Sofie Delic ’28, Ivanna Barroso Ruiz ’28, Matias Lopez-Ona ’29, Webber Druckerman ’28, Sam Geronemus ’29, Hudson Yarckin ’29, Dylan Kantesaria ’29 and Tak and Jacob Rothberg ’29 with Sheena Tak. The sixth-grade dance class of performing arts teacher Desiree Masucci also performed an Indian dance, and all students also enjoyed dancing to music by an RE band: Arin Motwani '30, who played the electric guitar; Rohan Harihara '30, who played the keyboard, and Shaan Tak, who played the Indian musical instrument "Dhol."
Featured at the middle school event: The University of Miami dance team know as Hurricane Bhangra.
Middle school students heard from Banerjee Ruths, the author of the children's book Archie Celebrates Diwali and the children's book series The Party Diaries. She was interviewed by Shaan Tak and Maya Bhandari during a special assembly in the gymnasium on Nov. 6.
At the upper school assembly on Diwali on Nov. 15, professional dancer Narayani Maharaj of Nara Bollywood Dance Academy provided a demonstration of Bollywood-style Indian dance before inviting RE students to join her for the spur-of-the-moment dance lesson. During the mid-day break, students participated in a range of activities: henna art; painting the traditional clay lamps known as diyas; bracelet-making; and using chalk to make rangolis.
The events were organized by faculty members Vanessa Lopez and Karina Buehler with the help of Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement Wendell Graham '74 and RE parents Rupa Tak and Bhavana Bhandari.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.