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India Volunteers Embrace Diwali Celebrations

Opening the new kitchenProjects Abroad India has organised Diwali celebrations at the Vallalar Illam orphanage in Srivelliputtur. Diwali is the most important holiday for millions of Indians. The 5 day long festival is also known as the Festival of Lights. Oil lamps are often placed in houses and streets to honour Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and beauty.

On the first day of Diwali 31 volunteers from Projects Abroad arrived at the orphanage to be greeted by 70 children who marched to the entrance of the gate. A boy banged on the drums to welcome them. All the volunteers and Projects Abroad staff were given a lime as a symbol of welcome and a kumkum (red paste mixed with sandlewood) to put on their foreheads.

Rose's impressive yoga poseRose Yelland from the UK office of Projects Abroad was there to join in the festivities. She had the pleasure of cutting a ribbon to open a new kitchen provided by Projects Abroad.

Rose said: 'We then headed to the garden and all the volunteers planted a tree sapling. Yoga positions were demonstrated by the kids followed by lunch and sweets served on a large banana leaf. Games and prizes were given followed by a customary fireworks display.

The excitement of the kids was a joy to see. An amazing day has been had by all. The project supervisor thanked all the staff for their hard work and Projects Abroad for donating £100 pounds for the kids' Diwali celebrations.'

Happy Diwali or Shubh Diwali to all!

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