Celebrating India

experiencing one of south asia's cultures

Students pump their palms towards the sky, roll their arms, then repeat - this time, with more flare. Increase Miller Elementary’s entire third, fourth and fifth grade move in time to traditional Indian music, following along with the vibrantly dressed dancers on the school’s stage. The fun of bopping and spinning to the irresistible rhythms fills the assembly with smiles.

All Increase Miller Elementary students participated in traditional Indian dancing on May 6 , in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. It was the sixth cultural assembly created by the IMES PTO and the school’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging committee this year.  “We’ll learn more about the world today,” said Dr. Michael Weschler, assistant principal of IMES, welcoming students to the assembly.

The assembly included time for students to ask questions. Many hands went up.

“What’s on your forehead?” asked one student.

“It’s called both a bindi or a tika,” Aman replied. “For us, it’s a decoration. It’s an accessory we put on when we dress up.”

“Where do you get your costumes?” asked another student. “They are traditional clothes of India made for us by a tailor in India,” said Anupa. “We wear different colors and styles for specific festivals and celebrations.”

The music and moves of India’s dances stayed with the students as they left the cafeteria, adding one more layer to their understanding of the world.