Copy of KP Sompally's statement made during Citizens Comment at the Franklin School Committee meeting on Tuesday, Dec 14, 2021:
"Request to add Diwali as an observed holiday to the list of no-school days.
I am a community member, volunteer, and parent (my child attends Franklin High School.) I would like to request that the School Committee discuss at a future meeting about DIWALI as an observed holiday
• The Town of Franklin observes numerous holidays – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and many more.
• We connected to each other through our different cultures with respective values. We have people from different ethnicities, religions and nationalities. We’re a growing town with good representation from several communities. Adopting an inclusive approach allows diversity to flourish
• Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by people of multiple faiths, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists
• Diwali celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. The festival celebrates over 5 days, culminating on Diwali Day which is new moon day
• About 800 Franklin families celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights and could celebrate well by being together, if it is a holiday
Every year, I am one of 5 million Americans who celebrate Diwali across our nation. I think it’s all more important to educate people about other backgrounds so that we can all live more in harmony, tolerance and inclusion. A holiday for Diwali will be a great inspiration for students who are trying to fulfill Franklin public school’s mission of being a global citizen
Making it a school holiday would help people of the town better understand its cultural significance, it would definitely give a message to the world that Franklin is flourishing by giving significant importance to diversity.
I appreciate the time and effort the school committee puts into our school wellness ultimately protecting our town's future and values. I look forward to hearing from you on this matter. If you would like to discuss this request further,
Thank you for your time, service and consideration.
For more about Diwali -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali
Congressman Jake Auchincloss joined to celebrate Diwali at the Franklin Library in November, 2021 https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/11/diwali-festival-celebrated-at-franklin.html