By India Parent Magazine

Glimpses of Diwali 2023 at CDM

For some, Diwali represents a new beginning teeming with possibility. For others, it is a time of spiritual enlightenment. For all, it is known as Diwali, the Indian national festival of lights. Diwali, a Hindu celebration meaning "row of lamps," is an official holiday which has celebrations spanning from India to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji

For many, it is one of the most significant festivals of the year, and is characterized by uniting with family members to perform traditional activities together.

Diwali is a Hindu holiday widely celebrated in India and across the Hindu Diaspora. The festival lasts over 5 days and marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. Festivities include the illumination of lights, candles, firecrackers, and diyas (clay lamps) to symbolize the victory of good over evil, inner light over spiritual darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Diwali is a time for gathering with loved ones and committing to making the right decisions in live.

Diwali celebrations at Children Discovery Museum has become a favorite GO TO place for young parents to enjoy with their kids.

Kavita and Kishan introduces artist Sindhu Ravuri

Sindhu explains the meaning of Diwali and the Gujarathi Folk song Khalasi, the search for a sailor!

Sindhu Ravuri Performs at CDM Diwali Festival to the Song Khalasi

Artist Sindhu Ravuri teaches folk moves to kids at CDM's Diwali Festival

This is the second year in a row for us,” said Lakshmi of Fremont. “Both my daughters enjoy this event as it is extremely friendly and has several activities to enjoy and learn from.”

The day’s events included performances by Sindhu Ravuri & Indraadhanush: Center for Excellence, Make a Diya Lamp, Rangoli Art with Artist-in-Residence, Eri Honda, LeRoy Neiman Art Studio, Celebrating Diwali in Theatre with Learn more about Diwali and a Diwali dance-along video led by Miss Priya which repeated throughout the day. In addition CDM had Rangoli by Tanisha Shah on view at the Museum Entrance.

For young Vikram, nine-years-old, who came to the Museum with his parents, Diwali brings in new year for Indians. "It's really awesome everyone is in such a happy mood. our family considers it as one of the biggest festivals of the year. we just meet at someones house and put on a lot of lights. I love coming to CDM to mark Diwali

Explaining further, Vikram’s father Suresh said, “The triumph of good over evil is illustrated symbolically through the lighting of miniscule clay lamps which are believed to drive away looming darkness. This ritual, according to Hindu religion, signifies the arrival of King Rama and his wife Sita to claim their kingdom after defeating the evil lord Ravana, thus carrying a source of elation and prosperity to their people. people. Our family truly appreciates Children Discovery Museum for making this a celebration for all as a celebration of good over evil.

At the Children Discovery Museum (CDM), Diwali has become an essential member of the Cultural Awareness Initiative Program since 2011.

2023 would be my third time at CDM, largely because of the huge success they had last year," stated guru Bidisha Mohantay, choreographer and artistic director of Indradhanush: Center for Excellence. “CDM is a unique platform since it brings incredible diversity of participants and audiences which really is something that I enjoy and look forward to," she said.

CDM synthesizes it into a single event for the benefit of Americans and highlights Diwali in a secular fashion. Most Americans don't get this perspective in similar Diwali events,” said Vishwa who brought his five-year-old daughter to CDM.

CDM is a non profit organization, and by participating in such cross cultural activities, kids are giving back to the community while promoting the message of Diwali to families for Americans, Cecilia Clark, spokes person of Children Discovery Museum elaborated.

She further added that she is very excited with the super success of this year's celebrations which included learning steps to the folk dance Khalasi taught by Sindhu Ravuri. “She is simply amazing!Cecilia said. “Kids love her and she knows how to take over the stage. And her dance skills are out of this world."

I love being part of CDMs annual Diwali celebrations,” gushed young Sindhu. It’s an honor to perform and teach too as I get to teach huge number of kids and even parents belonging to multiple ethnic groups. It’s pure joy to see so many loving participants.”

San Jose is one of the most diverse cultures in the nation and has over a 100 languages spoken here, added Cecilia. “And so with that in mind how do we help families get to know a little bit about the community that they live in? The South Asian population is one that has wonderful celebrations and the feedback we get from the families from all different backgrounds that come as our member base is vey diverse."

She further explained that Diwali is part of their community awareness services. Similarly CDM also celebrates Chinese, Vietnamese and Latino special days amongst others. Designed to engage the entire community in activities reflective of South Asian traditions, CDM's Annual Diwali Festival of Lights featured stage performances, storytelling, and arts activities.

Jessica Torres, Director of Education and Programs for Children Discovery Museum mirrored this sentiment. "We're thrilled that our Diwali celebration brought in many new visitors as well as loyal friends," said Torres.”We are very grateful for the generous, enthusiastic support of our Advisory Committee who helped make the event a resounding success, and we look forward to celebrating the festival for many years to come."

The Bay Area's Altu and Phaltu Pyare, hosts of the blockbuster radio show Radio Dehotties are the star emcees of the day. Audiences and performers alike loved these two popular hosts Kishen and Kavitha, who successfully engaged all with their skillful and invigorating emceeing.

Children's Discovery Museum is committed to promoting the culture and diversity of our region. Diwali festivities join an eclectiv plethora of other cultural events at the Museum such Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos, a Latino celebration; Chinese Lunar New Year; and the Children of the Dragon Vietnamese heritage festival. Through exploring the traditions of Diwali with the community, Children's Discovery Museum provides families of all backgrounds the opportunity to learn more about the rich fabric of culture and traditions in Silicon Valley.


Indraadhanush: Center for Excellence has Odissi, Folk dances, Semi-classical, and Bollywood dances. The students are winners across prestigious dance competitions in Bay Area, CA. These Odessi dance students are certified by the Pracheen Kala Kendra, and Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, India.

Shivani Ravuri is an Mathematical Modeler of Infectious Diseases for the California Department of Public Health, UC Berkeley graduate in Bioengineering, and aspiring future Surgeon. For seventeen years, she has trained in Indian classical dance under her gurus Padmabhushans Raja, Radha and Kaushalya Reddy. She considers dance her identity. At 12 years old, she became the youngest dancer in history to be selected for the San Francisco Ethic Dance Festival. In addition to performing for the Parliament of India and Germany, she has received numerous accolades nationally and internationally, including on International Certificate of Recognition from UNESCO. As an aspiring dance teacher, she now aims to integrate contemporary experiences and storytelling into the traditional fabric of India classical dance forms.


Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose has been ranked by Child Magazine as one of the top 10 children's museums in the U.S. and selected by the London Observer as one of the top 5 science centers in the world. Since opening its doors in 1990, CDM has welcomed over 5 million visitors and has offered new interactive exhibits each year that respond to children's diverse educational needs. The striking 52,000 square foot purple building was designed by Mexico City-based architect Ricardo Legorreta, and is a beacon of discovery. Encompassing the broad themes of community, connections and creativity, interactive exhibits invite self-directed, open-ended explorations, while programs such as BioSITE and Discovery Youth provide facilitated, focused, and sustained learning. Have fun honouring and sharing your own culture, or discovering the celebrations of your neighbours. CDM creates experiences rooted in authenticity, a spirit of discovery, and a commitment to excellence. Visit website for more details and updates