By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Diwali celebrations inspire compassion, peace for Forsyth County residents
Ms. Michele, a bus driver for FCS, said that she likes to decorate her school bus for each holiday. This year, she included Diwali. - photo by For the FCN

As students boarded Ms. Michele’s school bus on Thursday, Nov. 4, they were met with festive Diwali decorations including lights, flowers and paper diyas, oil lamps used for worship and decorative purposes.

Michele has been driving a bus for Forsyth County Schools for two years and while she decorates her bus for different holidays, this was the first time she’d decorated for Diwali.

“I love what I do and I love my kids, and I want [to include] everyone,” Michele said.

Michele said she asked some “teacher friends” about the festival so she could celebrate with her bus-riders appropriately.

“I still have a lot to learn about [Diwali],” she said. “To see the smiles of my students and their parents is all worth it.”

The encouraging and excited reactions she received from parents and students inspired other bus drivers to decorate their buses well as spread the message of hope, kindness and peace for humankind.  

“I absolutely love all my students,” Ms. B, another bus driver, said. “For me, it’s not about just picking them up or dropping them off, but rather to learn more about them—their likes and dislikes. I also love to learn and teach them about our cultural differences, which makes the world a happier place.”

Story continues below.

Ms. B, inspired by Michele, decorated her school bus with a festive sign and beads to celebrate Diwali with her bus-riders. - photo by For the FCN

Continuing the celebration, during its Nov. 4 meeting, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners recognized the religious and historical significance of Diwali and the “festival’s message of tolerance, compassion and the victory of good over evil, which resonates with the American spirit.”

District 2 Commissioner Alfred John read a proclamation explaining the meaning of the holiday, and representatives from the chamber’s OneForsyth and different temples in the county stood before the board to receive the proclamation and celebrate the holiday.

John said that Diwali, also known as the “Festival of Lights,” symbolizes the victory of dharma and good over evil, and it is widely celebrated amongst Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.

“The shared Indian holiday of Diwali signifies a special time of peace and serenity with the hope of building bridges of understanding and tearing down barriers of intolerance,” John said.  

Commissioners expressed their deepest respect for Indian Americans and South Asian Americans throughout the world and in Forsyth County, and all those that celebrate Diwali. 

Commissioners recognized Nov. 4 as Diwali in Forsyth County at a recent regular meeting. Photo courtesy Forsyth County government.