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Volunteers Celebrate Diwali with Ethnic Minority Children to Promote Racial Inclusion and Cultural Exchanges

The Children and Family Services Centre (Kowloon City) of HKSPC has served ethnic minority families for many years and has many service users from Southeast Asia.

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is similar to the Chinese Lunar New Year. It is a traditional grand festival for Indians to reunite with relatives and friends. This year, ‘Diwali’ falls on mid-November. Ethnic minority families shared their hometown culture with the volunteers. They danced, painted, and made handicrafts together to promote racial integration. The “iFAST ePension Services Limited” volunteer team reciprocated with gifts and donations for the children.

On the day of the event, parents of Indian service users placed red dots representing ‘blessing’ on the foreheads of each participant. Indian families then explained the historical origins of ‘Diwali’ and conducted a “Q & A” session, which was enjoyed by volunteers and children alike. Afterwards, the ethnic minority children taught and performed traditional dances from their hometowns, and both child service users and volunteers danced together. The two parties also collaborated to colour and paint “Rangoli” – which combined geometric patterns and Indian mythological images to symbolise welcoming gods and blessings.

One of the important activities of Diwali is ‘lighting up lamps’ or lighting candles, representing the idea of ‘driving away darkness with light’. When making handcrafted candles, we ensured that one adult volunteer paired up with one child to safeguard the children.

This wonderful event allowed people of different ethnic groups to get to know each other and build relationships. It helps local people better understand the cultural traditions of ethnic minorities, thus fostering an ethnically-friendly environment in Hong Kong.

In addition, HKSPC’s staff briefed volunteers on the Child Safeguarding Policy before any event to ensure they have appropriate attitudes and behaviour towards children. We try our best to ensure that children are nourished by a warm and friendly environment and enjoy a happy childhood.