Parker Jewish Institute hosted a Diwali celebration for residents and their families Nov. 12.
Diwali is the festival of lights and is said to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and the blessings of victory, freedom, and enlightenment.
Tuesday’s celebration began with a prayer, followed by live music that featured Ghanshyam Joshi, a classical singer, and dance performances by Siddhi Vaishnav and Zaman Ali.
Tasty treats included a crispy and savory sev, thin, long fried noodles made with chickpea flour, and halva, a popular sweet made of cream of wheat porridge.
“We are pleased to celebrate traditional Indian culture so that the entire community can take part and enjoy,” said Michael N. Rosenblut, Parker’s President and CEO.
On display was an intricately hand-carved wooden screen from Drs. Saroj and Indravadan Shah, who are instrumental to the development and planning of Parker’s Indian Cultural Unit.
Sujata Seth, Parker’s Marketing Associate for the Indian Cultural Unit, brought the “diyas” or small lamps for Diwali, which served as table decorations, and there were raffle giveaways. Kathleen Keegan, Parker’s Director of Recreation Therapy, arranged for lanterns and lotus flowers for the tables.
Parker’s specialized Indian Cultural Unit is the first of its kind serving East and West Indian older adults who reside in Nassau and Queens Counties. It is staffed by Indian physicians and nursing staff who are fluent in Indian languages, including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, and Punjabi, among others.
The unit is adorned with Indian-inspired artwork and décor. Activities and entertainment include music, TV, movies, newspapers and religious services so that patients remain connected to their traditional lifestyle in a healing environment.
Submitted by the Parker Jewish Institute