Assemblies in the second half of the Autumn Term are always special because as the days grow shorter and the darkness descends, many religions and cultures respond with Festivals of Light. From the bonfires of Guy Fawkes, to the candles of Advent and Christmas, and the fires of Yule, autumn assemblies are all about fire and light in the darkness.
The Hindu Festival of Diwali is celebrated with small candles which remind people of the way home through the darkness. Streets near the school are lit up with these little points of light. In previous years Hindu staff and students have led the assembly and introduced the wider school community to the festival.
The Hindu festival of Diwali is especially meaningful. It is when the goddess Laxmi visits homes to distribute gifts to those who have been good and when the story of Rama and Sita is remembered and celebrated.
Whilst many of the themes and characters in the story are similar to those in other folk stories from around the world, it is the meaning that is truly universal. Sharing and friendship is what binds humanity together and this has been exemplified by the charity work our school does.
There is, however, one particular example which is especially potent when we consider friendship. A student who has not been long at Hillingdon Manor, Jayden Shuklar is doing a sponsored Movember to fund raise for a dear friend, Kamil, at his former school who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Jayden’s response is truly in the spirit of Hanuman, the perfect friend. Staff and students at Hillingdon Manor will be raising money, please support Jayden by donating through this link:
Lillith Osborn, Assistant Head Teacher