A Calendar for All Cultures


Maroon Staff

Although the holidays of other ethnic groups in Scarsdale have been neglected, recent initiatives look to turn the tide.

Joyce Liu and Alina Yang

The holidays are a time for relaxing and spending time with family without the burden of schoolwork. Jewish and Christian Scarsdale citizens are able to do this on holidays like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Christmas. Although the holidays of other ethnic groups in Scarsdale have been neglected, recent initiatives look to turn the tide.

Scarsdale has always held school on important holidays such as Lunar New Year, Diwali, and Eid Mubarak, ignoring the growing number of people who celebrate these holidays with their families. This creates a conflict for students about whether or not they should go to school. Some students choose to go, turning a day of rest into a day of stress. “Having the day off would help me truly enjoy the holiday without worrying about school,” said Charlene Dong ’26. However, others choose to miss a day of school and spend the day celebrating. “Since I’ve always missed school, I’ve had to make up lots of work and tests which brings about a lot of stress. When I look at the time I always relate it to what class I would be in and what work I would be missing,” said Samina Malik ’26. The choice between school and cultural traditions is difficult, and both choices add stress to days devoted to relaxation.

To that end, students have worked to spread their culture and have campaigned to make Lunar New Year, Diwali, and Eid Mubarak school holidays. “I spoke at the Board of Education meeting and with councilwoman Amy Paulin to better understand school holidays from a legislative perspective,” said Dong. Similarly, Malik has been working on getting Eid off for over a year now, and she also shared her point of view at the Board of Education meeting. In addition, Mehta, Malik, and other members of the freshman class government at Scarsdale High School have created a petition to show to the Board of Education the support of SHS students. 

Dong, Mehta, and Malik strongly believe in their cause and are determined to succeed in the end. “We understand with federal holidays, state requirements, and local traditions; it’s very challenging to create a school calendar that’s inclusive and equitable. But if there is a will, there is a way. We are confident that we can make this happen as a community,” said Dong. 

In terms of what the rest of society can do to help, Mehta has some suggestions. “The community can help by signing our petition as well as sharing their voice and spreading their voice. The more people we have backing this initiative, the higher chance that we succeed,” said Mehta.

Many groups in the Scarsdale community would benefit from a calendar that accounts for their holidays. With the advocacy of students and members of the community, the prospect of a relaxing holiday for all is not far from reach.

*Link to petition: https://chng.it/VK4L2KVt*