Lanark Heights celebrates South Asian culture

Residents enjoy a Diwali festival and lots of traditional food
11/19/2021  - Deron Hamel

Lanark Heights residents and team members celebrated South Asian culture with an in-house Diwali festival on Nov. 4 and a South Asian-themed day on Nov. 9.

The Diwali festival included a travelling cart for residents that was stocked with traditional South Asian sweets, including kaju katli, gulab jamun and several varieties of barfi, a South Asian milk-based dessert, that included coconut barfi and besan barfi (made with gram flour).

Diwali, sometimes referred to as the “Indian festival of lights”, is a five-day celebration that has its origins in India.

While it originated with people of the Hindu faith, Diwali is celebrated in South Asia by people of many religions. The festival celebrates the victory of light over dark.

Julia Slomke, the life enrichment manager at Lanark Heights, says residents enjoyed trying the wide variety of sweets offered.

“The residents really enjoyed this, as many of them had never tried these treats before,” she tells S&R Today.

On Nov. 9, the Kitchener, Ont. long-term care community continued celebrations by hosting a South Asian-themed day.

Residents enjoyed a special lunch which included dal – a lentil soup – as well as butter chicken, rice, naan bread, samosas and rice pudding.

Many staff members also wore traditional South Asian clothing, “which the residents loved, as the outfits were so bright and colourful,” Julia says.

Team members also ran a henna tattoo program with residents, a first-time activity which the residents enjoyed, she adds.

“The residents really enjoyed the day and we look forward to next year’s celebration,” Julia says.

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