Year 13 student Vaneel Ram, chief executive officer of the group Festivilia says the idea behind their children’s book ‘A Year of Festivals’ is based on exploring cultural celebrations and discovering the amazing diversity of New Zealand.
“Being immigrants living in such a multicultural society like the one in Flat Bush, which now reflects the diaspora in Auckland, we didn’t know much about multicultural festivals,” he says.
“We were at a loss. We went along to the Lantern Festival without knowing the significance or why we were attending it.”
Using their personal experience to bind the book, Krishin Rava chief financial officer of Festivilia says the book covers the Treaty of Waitangi, including its origin.
“It also brings to life with illustrations festivals like the Lantern Festival and the Indian Diwali Festival. We even have activities like colouring, spot the difference and Lord Ram finding his beloved Sita in a maze,” he says.
Production manager of the group, Kaden Keshan Naidoo explains that the central character of the book is an alien.
“It’s something children relate to these days,” he says.
Drawing a parallel between aliens and new arrivals to the country, he says: “For someone like me who is a migrant, I do feel like a bloop, an outsider on an adventure in the land of the Long White Cloud. Hence the creation of aliens in the book and how they try to comprehend the diversity of cultures.”
The idea of understanding and respecting different cultures, appealed to a lot of schools including – Baverstock Oaks School, Mission Heights Primary School, Ormiston Primary School, Everglade School, Manurewa East School, Ormiston Junior.
The group has plans to introduce the children’s book to pre-schools and gradually take it to the next level by going nationwide.
“We even hope to take it international,” ends Vaneel.
Article by Times Live