An Event To Remember: Diwali Fun For Kids 2012!

What do you get when you put 50-odd enthusiastic kids and their doting parents into a room, and encourage the kids to showcase their talents? A great deal of energy, fun, excitement and hullabaloo — that’s what! 

“It was awesome!!! We had a great time there. It is an wonderful opportunity for them to boost their confidence to reach the higher levels.”  ~Lalitha Priya CS  

 *Make sure to check out the event photos at the end of the article. If your little one had participated in the event then do remember to  give credits to him/her!

 “Diwali for Kids program @Fremont Library– Good turnout and fun and Hi energy kids- Best part all kids were dressed up in traditional clothes appropriate for the Festival celebration.  ~Shambhu Sam Rao,   Editor/Bureau Chief, Indian Express & Chief Evangelist,

 Anticipation was Building …

Well, this is exactly what happened at the Cheeni-for-Tots “Diwali Fun for Kids” event, co-sponsored by the Alameda County Library, held this past Saturday, Nov. 17th at the Fukaya Room of the Fremont Main Library. The anticipation had been building for over two weeks  — ever since the first posters showed up at the Library and the first announcement went out from Cheeni-for-Tots – with parents calling in to register, to enquire about details, and to enroll their children for the Talent Show! Indeed, so great was the buzz, registrations kept pouring in until the very last day with some parents literally registering at the door!

“Definitely awesome! Excellent idea and properly organized.” ~Sudheer Bandaru

The Opening …

The big day saw a snaking queue outside the Fukaya Room, as Rakhi Sharma, Co-Founder Cheeni-for-Tots, and her team ensured that those who had registered got an opportunity to be seated first. The event kicked off with Rakhi welcoming the over 110+ attendees, parents, kids, siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and announcing the launch of Cheeni for Tots’ brand new website, the fact that its engaging content had been accessed from a 170+ nations around the world  in just the last year alone! Also unveiled were three of Cheeni for Tots’ flagship programs designed to help parents spend quality time with their kids, while developing in them a lifelong love of learning. These included its much-acclaimed “Let’s Enjoy Hindi in Just 13-min a Day!” on-line immersion program, and it’s brand new “Learn with Fun” show, debuting later this month for audiences nationwide (and, indeed, worldwide)! Not surprising, coming from a Harvard graduate, with a penchant for software, a steadfast dedication to strengthening the parent-child bond, and an enduring passion for empowering kids.

It was Wonderful! It was a boost of confident for the kids. You did a really good job. We cannot buy this type of boost ~ Rina Mal

Interesting Ramayana With Diwali Poem …cheenifortots_diwalifunforkids2012-41

The kids learnt the significance of Diwali – the Festival of Lights, through the story of the Ramayana, which Rakhi narrated in her inimitable style, with over 50 eager kids crowded around her on the floor hanging on to her every word, and responding to any question she asked. “Do you know whose son Rama was?” saw the instant response “King Dashratha’s!” from an obviously well-schooled 6-year old! “What were Rama’s brothers’ names?”  “Laxmana, Bharatha, and Shatrughana!” was the response from several little fans of the Ramayana! And, so the story proceeded, with kids involved and chiming in, each step of the way, including quickly learning and reciting the Diwali poem “Aayi Diwali!”

“It was good…U said it in both English and Hindi so most of the kids enjoyed it….My kid after coming home he was talking about Ramayana…The poem was also good….! My kid Manas told a small poem on stage…this was his first onstage solo performance…..I think giving a chance for kids to perform on stage improves there confidence….And I appreciate ur dedication…U called me regarding the song and after the show as my kid missed his dance performance….So i think no one will take time to do that… It was great… And everyone enjoyed it…” ~Radhika Sana

cheenifortots_diwalifunforkids2012-31“Share Your Creativity” : A Message By Cards By Tots, Designer-in-Chief …

The highlight of the evening was the Talent Show, which kicked-off with a melodious incantation to Lord Ganesha (the cheery, portly, happy-go-lucky God in the Hindu pantheon, but immensely powerful, especially in warding off troubles, and so always called upon to bless the start of any auspicious occasion!) by none other than Cards-by-Tots’ Designer-in-Chief, the 10-year old Urvi Sharma! It was only apt that Cards-by-Tots, which focuses on creativity, entrepreneurship, and awareness in kids, sponsor the Art Contest for the evening. As Urvi explained, Cards-by-Tots is her attempt to share her creativity with the world, through cards, designs, cartoons, and the like, while encouraging other kids to join her endeavor and do likewise. At the same time, her goal was raising awareness (both her own and that of her audience) about issues that affect us all, such as health, conservation, wildlife, and the environment, by having them be reflected in her creations, or on the pithy messages or insightful cartoons her cards carry.

“Rakhi. Great show!  Keep it up!”  ~Cynthia Lobo

cheenifortots_diwalifunforkids2012-37The Talent Show …33 Performers…

The Talent Show included over 33 performances from kids of all ages, from 4 to 10! There was singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments on the one hand, and reciting shlokas, poems (some even self-composed by our budding poet laureates!), ditties, and short speeches on the other. With devoted parents eagerly snapping photographs, and ardently shooting video clips with their smartphones, it was a sight to behold.  Everyone was thrilled to see two sets of sisters make the house swing to contemporary Bollywood tunes. From the international sensation Kolavari-D to the foot-tapping hit “Aunty-ji”, these talented little performers had everyone clapping in unison to the beats! And, the performances came in multiple languages, English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, to name a few!

cheenifortots_diwalifunforkids2012-1“Let’s Enjoy Hindi in Just 13-Min A Day”, Certificate of Achievement!

  We took this opportunity to celebrate the successful completion by Tejas Parasumanna of our “Let’s Enjoy Hindi in 13-Min a Day – Level-1″.   Tejas confidently recited Ganesh Mantra and “Natkhat Chooha” (naughty mouse) poem that he learned in the program. He was present with his proud Mom & little bother to receive the “Certificate of Achievement”! He is now all set to get started with the “Level-2″ of the program!

“A big thumbs up!! We liked it a lot, especially my daughter. She thoroughly enjoyed hearing the Diwali story!”~Nilam Singh 

The Best Dressed!

The other highlight of the evening was the prizes for coming bedecked in festive attire. One could see the little ones – both boys and girls – dressed in their very best, and proud parents pleased with their handiwork. Boys in shiny silk kurtas, and stylish “churidars” and jackets, and little girls as “wannabe ladies” dressed in colorful saris, bangles, and beautiful ornaments – from necklaces, to rings, to headbands.  It was colorful, bright, and cheerful alright!  The award for the “Best Festive Dressed” went to a 5-year old, who had been holding her own in a sari for the better part of an hour and a half, although there were certainly many worthy winners.

“Wonderful! I really liked it because kids got an awesome chance to perform on stage!” ~Mowtusi Guha

Where Did the Stickers Go?

A group of enterprising triplets (sisters, merely five years old) took it upon themselves to distribute stickers to every performing kid, and dispensed the sheets of stickers from the Cheeni-for-Tots table to the crowd of eager youngsters, even before the Cheeni-for-Tots team ever had a chance – but they didn’t mind one bit! Likewise, before long, the coloring sheets and boxes of crayons gradually “disappeared” from the front of the room making their way into the hands of eager parents and their creative angels, and, as the function proceeded, one saw little kids intently at work on their artwork in different pockets of room! 

Encouraging Words & Certificate Distribution from Our Special Guests …cheenifortots_diwalifunforkids2012-32

The event concluded with a distribution of certificates of participation and achievement awarded by two very special guests for the evening – Shambhu Rao, Chief Evangelist of, and the Silicon-Valley-based US Editor/Bureau Chief of the famed Indian Express newspaper, and Karen Pacheco, Children’s Services Supervisor (and a big supporter of Cheeni-for-Tots’ community efforts, who made it all happen). A bunch of excited kids crowded around Sam and Karen, eager to grab their certificates from Cheeni for Tots and Cards by Tots. Of course, there were the obligatory photographs at the end, with dad’s with cameras clicking away, as an enthusiastic crowd of kids, moms, organizers and the Special Guests lined up to say “cheese”!

So, Are You Ready For the “New Year Fun For Kids” Show?

As the Cheeni for Tots team wrapped up the show, and collected their belongings, thanking Karen and Sam for their presence, they reflected with fondness upon the evening – which had been truly outstanding – and wondered when they would do it again? As if reading their mind, Rakhi (Sharma) said out loud “Guys, I think we should do an event at new year’s celebrating Christmas and the start of 2013!”, and everyone cried in unison “Yes!” And, so there you have it, the ending of one swell evening, with the birth of an idea for another one not far behind!

Event Photos – Give Credits To Your Little Participant!

Give credit to your child! Acknowledge their achievements and comment on the great job they did.

Locate your little one’s photo and tell us the photo & page number on which they are featured, and describe (in glowing words :-) ) their performance (of course, every performance was spectacular!).  We will add it with the photograph. Don’t forget to praise other participants, how did you like the show, and of course feel free to share it with your friends and family!

Feedback Contest Result – Congratulations  “Radhika Sana”!

Thanks again parents for your feedback and your understanding of how much time and effort is needed to organize events (online and offline) with 150+ people, a number of them kids under 8! The winner has won tickets to enjoy the “Bubble Man Show” with the family!


2 Responses to “An Event To Remember: Diwali Fun For Kids 2012!”

  1. Radhika Sana says:

    Hi everyone i have been announced as the winner for feedback contest which was conducted as part of Diwali Fun for kids…..Today Rakhi sharma called me to inform this…We won tickets for a Bubble Show……The Diwali Fun which was conducted at Fremont Library was awesome… kids got an oppurtunity to showcase there talent….We r looking forward for more of this kind of shows which will boost the confidence levels of kids…..Thank u Rakhi……

  2. admin says:

    Hi Radhika,

    Thanks so much for your kind words and appreciation.
    Got you email as well that you had visited the “Bubble Show” with your family and had a lot of fun! So, keep encouraging your little one more and more to participate in such talent shows to boost his confidence.

    See you again, perhaps in one of our online or in-person shows for kids!