University News

Diwali Festival Lights Up the Night as Students Celebrate

By: By freshman Marissa Pappas | Published: November 02, 2016 | Categories: Arts and Sciences, Engineering, All News
Student dancing with Dandiya sticks

Rivers Memorial Hall was transformed on October 26, as Western New England University Spiritual Life, and International Student and Scholar Services, hosted the University’s second annual Diwali celebration.

More than 60 students and faculty joined in the University’s celebration of the Indian and Hindu Diwali festival. “During Diwali, people celebrate light overcoming darkness, good over evil,” said graduate student Gokul Ratna Sourabh Maturu. “It’s all about the lanterns, candles, displays of art, fireworks, and traditional food. Basically, it’s a joyful festival of lights and Indian food.” 

The University students who organized this event worked hard to recreate the traditional elements including table displays of customary symbols, idols, and small candle arrangements. As her contribution to the University’s observance of the holiday, freshman Nivedhitha Perala made a traditional Rangoli design on the floor by using colorful rice. “The Rangoli is a decorative arrangement that welcomes guests to the celebration,” Nivedhitha said. “Displays of Rangoli are an important part of every Diwali celebration.” 

Students and faculty who attended the event were first treated to an informational presentation explaining the history and significance of Diwali, and then enjoyed a variety of Indian-style cuisine. On the tables were bright decorations and bangles brought from Pakistan for the event. After dinner, participants were encouraged to participate in traditional Hindi dances with Dandiya sticks while Hindi music videos played.