Diwali celebration shines light on new beginnings

By Marissa Gugala – News Editor

Students paint tea lights while they enjoy sweet and savory snacks. Photo by Morgan Van Wickler.


Students celebrated Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights at the Intercultural & Commuter Lounge (IC3) on Nov. 7. The festival began with a presentation from Professor Ashmita Khasnabish. Khasnabish spoke about how the celebration of Diwali “symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.”

Students learned about the goddesses Durga and Kali. Khasnabish told students these two goddesses were essentially the same, just taking different forms. She said, Durga is “the more benign form of the goddess,” whereas Kali is “stronger and sharper.”

Khasnabish donned a traditional Sari in a vibrant blue for the festival. She said it used to be traditional to wear new clothes during each day of Diwali. Now, most people who celebrate this holiday wash their clothes with every new day. Khasnabish said this is to symbolize purity and cleanliness. It is also important to wear something new to honor the goddesses.

Attendees got to know one another over traditional music and sweet and savory snacks. Foods enjoyed by students include soanpapdi, a flakey sweet with almonds and pistachios and pista burfi, a sweet made of a solidified mixture of condensed milk.

Students celebrated Diwali by painting tea lights and creating Rangoli, art made from colored sand, rice or flour. Students could read flyers that were hung around IC3 detailed with the history and how the festival celebrated.


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