Students celebrate Diwali on the Quad


Jeremy Hu

Diwali observer celebrates the Hindu festival of lights.

By Sabrina Yan, Staff Writer

Over the course of four hours, University students partook in Diwali celebrations on Saturday night.

The Indian Graduate Student Association has held this celebration, located on the Main Quad, for over 10 years.

By offering the celebration, the association wanted every Indian student at the University to connect with their background and religion, said Sai Kalyan, president of IGSA and graduate student in Engineering.

“Because this is one of the very significant parts of the childhoods of Indian students on campus, we celebrate it at a large area so that everyone on campus feels more like they’re at home,” Kalyan said.

Diwali is one of the major Hindu festivals, spiritually signifying good over evil. Though it typically extends over a five-day period, the association hosted one main festival night.

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    The celebration this year involved lighting the Main Quad with tea light candles and providing traditional Indian foods. Kalyan said they have been preparing for over a month.

    “We probably lighted up 3,000 candles yesterday,” Kalyan said. “All the Indian food sold was cooked by us.”

    Both the long lines for the food and the picturesque scenery made the experience pleasurable for Palek Patel, senior in Engineering, he said.

    “People are having fun here taking pictures, having good food, and it makes me happy,” Patel said. “Every year it’s been like a tradition.”

    Many Indian students appreciated the celebration of coming together.

    “There are a lot of people, like me, who are the residents over here,” Patel said about Indian students in the U.S. “It’s good for me to see that our culture is still alive on a campus like this.”

    In addition to Indian students, the celebration also attracted a diverse group of attendees.

    Fiona Kalensky, junior in Engineering, came with her friends for their second year.

    “Coupled with the food, I think it is very a kind of a spiritual experience as well,” Kalensky said.

    Although Diwali served as their last fall activity, the association will continue with events in the spring.

    “Diwali on Main Quad event introduces the Indian culture to a lot of people,” Kalyan said. “In spring, we have two more events to go.”

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