Communities gather to celebrate the festival of lights

Cultural performances entertained, educated attendees



A dance performence at the Diwalii event.

PUNEET BSANTI, Deputy news editor

Diwali, or the festival of lights, was celebrated amongst Indian and non-Indians on Sunday where attendees watched cultural performances and soaked in the traditions of the community for one night.

Diwali Night was put on by the new committee of the Indian Student Association at The Gladish, and was attended by hundreds of people, with some dressed in traditional clothing from kurtas to saris.

“We usually have a Diwali celebration in India [in October], and we wanted to put on this event a little bit late because of midterms,” said Treasurer of ISA Kunal Sanghvi.

Sanghvi said this is the biggest event for the organization in the fall semester, and it took a month to plan it.

He said the event cost around $8,000-$9,000, and is still counting.

“Usually it takes eight weeks, but it took five weeks so it was a bit rushed, but we all divided stuff among us,” said Lakshita Malhotra, the vice president of ISA.

From 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. attendees indulged in appetizers which were samosas and chai while talking amongst themselves before the event started.

The event officially began with the Indian National Anthem sung by members of ISA and speeches were made afterwards thanking sponsors and those who helped put on the event, as well as speaking about the significance of Diwali.

The first performance was a recitation of a Sanskrit poem, which was a tribute to India. The poem described the beauty of the land and the diversity among the people and languages.

“I think the cultural side that the breaking different parts of India is a good representative of how diverse we are,” said Arpita Sinha, doctoral student in anthropology.

Sinha said she makes it a point to go to the ISA events and loves meeting members of the Indian community.

“The cultural diversity that’s being represented, is a quick sneak peak, but that’s a good way to sort of give a good representation [of India],” she said.

Many cultural dances representing different parts of India were put on, one of them includes the Bharatanatyam, a classical dance originating in the Southern region of the country.

Before dinner, Aditya Bose-Bandyopadhyay did a guitar and singing performance where he played a song in English and then in Hindi.

Dinner was catered by Maharaja from Tri-Cities, with the menu consisting of kadhai paneer, chicken curry, daal makani and naan. Kheer, an Indian version of rice pudding was served as dessert. Trivia was put on for the audience as they enjoyed their dinners.

“I’m really happy about the food and performances,” Malhotra said. “I’m proud of our team, we really pulled it together.”

The night continued on with more performances such as cultural dances and a trivia. There was a DJ who played Indian songs, which some guests danced to.

“I think what we’re doing is an excellent thing and it just brings everybody together and represent their culture as best as they can,” Sinha said.