Special celebrations of the cosmic interconnectedness we share is an important experience during Thanksgiving, and is one of many reasons we are so lucky to be at Khalsa. The weather is usually perfect for the Earth Blessing ceremony and family feast, and today was no exception! The sun shone brightly through the clouds, warming us in the cool Arizona morning. Once again, members of the native Huehuecoyotl community, many of whom are either former students or their parents, joined us to give thanks through their indigenous cultural Earth Blessing.
At the Elementary & Primary campuses the Thanksgiving events started with a blessing ceremony led by Tupac Enrique Sr. and his indigenous community members. The Middle School students visited the Elementary campus to participate where they were met with excitement from the younger students.
Although the morning was chilly and crisp, we soon warmed our bodies and the earth with traditional dances led by Tupac Sr. The entire campus came together in one large circle on the soccer field surrounding the performers, and all the students and staff joined in the traditional dances to the sound of native drum. The ceremony began and ended with a moving prayer including the blowing of conch shell and copal incense signaling each cardinal direction, up to the sky, and below to the earth. Tupac Sr. shared the wisdom of stories and traditions of the Indigenous peoples.
The Thanksgiving blessing hosts later joined the Primary children, teachers and parents at the Primary campus for another moving ceremony of thanksgiving, dance and music before the school’s family feast. One large circle surrounded Tupac Sr. on the soccer field as he started and ended again with a conch ceremony and filled the backyard with dance and ceremonial blessings. The message of harmonious and respectful existence with the Earth and its inhabitants is critical for our future generations in developing a sense of stewardship towards life. Every year, this traditional blessing truly rejuvenates our connection to the earth and its natural resources.
After the ceremony at Primary, parents joined together with their children to share a special feast of soups, breads, and desserts prepared by the students along with other vegetarian potluck items brought by their families for the annual potluck feast. Primary students saw their week-long hard work and preparation meet its fruition when they welcomed parents and family to share a delicious feast, including the famous homemade soups. Thank you to all the parents who joined us with food for a community meal, where we could truly appreciate the close-knit community of Khalsa students, parents, and staff.
To complete the day, Lower Elementary students enjoyed Thanksgiving themed arts and crafts, and Upper Elementary and Middle School shared in class feasts at their respective campuses.
For many years now we have looked forward to this yearly experience of the native traditions and Thanksgiving. The school feels truly blessed by the opportunity to view and experience life from varied perspectives. As the next generation prepares to become part of society, we hope that respect for self, others, and the environment will be the beacon that guides their decisions.
As our students headed home for the Thanksgiving break, we at Khalsa were filled with much gratitude and appreciation to our families and community. From all of us, gracias, danke, dhanyavaad, merci, and thanks!