Diwali: Festival of Lights

By: Hayden Cordova | Lifestyle Editor

On Saturday, Nov. 16, the Indian Student Association hosted a night of festivities in the Student Center Ballroom with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. Traditionally celebrating the spiritual triumph of light over darkness, ISA, along with the help of campus volunteers and the Student Government Association, gave attendees a taste of traditional Indian culture.

A longstanding event at South for several years, 2019’s Diwali hoped to draw in one of the largest crowds yet. Gnyata Patel, the ISA’s treasurer, discussed the group’s hopes for the event’s success shortly before the program began. 

“We’ve been advertising a lot for Diwali leading up to tonight,” said Patel.  “We’ve made sure to invite as many professors, faculty, and students as we could.  Last year we had such a good turnout that we ran out of food for everyone! This year we’ve come prepared with enough food for an even better turnout.”

The evening featured an extensive program of traditional songs and dances from a variety of regions of India, all performed by members of ISA. Afterward, guests were treated to a full course dinner comprised of Indian cuisine. 

With non-students charged a five-dollar entry fee, ISA announced that all funds from admission would be donated to their choice philanthropy Invisible Girl Project, a charity dedicated to providing financial assistance to women and girls vulnerable to trafficking.  In the spirit of Diwali, ISA will donate the proceeds of the event toward the Invisible Girl Project’s efforts in India.

Patel went on to discuss what her involvement with the Diwali celebration at South means to her.

“This has been one of my favorite college activities to help out with,” said Patel.  “Working with the Indian Student Association has been amazing. There’s a lot of work that we put into this event.  It’s great being able to celebrate our culture since a lot of people on campus have been really interested in learning about it.  It’s cool being able to share that with everyone and to enjoy the festival together.”