Two organizations celebrated the Indian festival of lights, Diwali with one celebration hosted by The Indian Student Association (ISA) on Friday, Nov. 8 and Diwali Mela hosted the following Sunday.
On Nov. 10 at 6 p.m., the Indian Cultural Exchange hosted Diwali Mela 2019 in the Tate Grand Hall. This is the second annual festival that has been held in honor of the holiday.
Diwali is a New Year’s festival and a celebration of spiritual victory for Southeast Asian cultures, and the event gave students the chance to engage in tradition, according to Anu Manne, a culture chairman for ICE.
“It is a time where everyone can come together and enjoy one another during this festival,” Manne said.
Both the decorations and food represented the various cultures and dishes of the different places in India where Diwali is celebrated.
“The food is probably my favorite part because in college you try to go for the easy things to eat but this is one time where you get to eat Indian food,” said Shree Desai, an executive board member of ICE. “Some people who go to this school don’t live here and their family is hours away so it’s cool to see your friends and enjoy this festival.”
An array of performances by organizations such as South Asian dance teams included fusion dance teams, a capella groups and classical groups who provided the entertainment for the evening.
There were also a series of stalls where attendees could participate in activities such as diya painting, henna and play Indian games.
ICE is a South Asian based organization focusing on spreading awareness of Indian culture throughout campus and introducing people to the traditions and celebrations. It also provides a place for familiarity to South Asian students.
“It’s a place to be a home away from home,” said Akshara Punyarthi, a culture chairman for ICE. “We have so many people who don’t live near here so it is a way they can engage in their traditions and culture.”
Correction: In a previous version of this article, The Red & Black incorrectly used photos from Diwali Night on Nov. 8, hosted by the Indian Student Association, instead of Diwali Mela on Nov. 10, hosted by the Indian Cultural Exchange. The Red & Black regrets this error. The Red & Black regrets this error, and it has since been changed.