By Isabella Darcy
The Indian Student Association hosted a Diwali-inspired dinner and talent show that featured performances by dancers, singers, musicians and comics. This event took place on Nov. 4, beginning at 8 p.m., and lasting for several hours.
The Indian Student Association’s freshman representative, Meera Bhatt, a special education and psychology major, led the night.
“Diwali is a five day celebration celebrated by Hindu’s, Sikh’s, Jain’s, and it symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness,” Bhatt said. “It’s a time to celebrate with loved ones.”
The room reflected the celebration of light. Candles sat upon every colorful tablecloth, and red, yellow, and pink streamers hung along the perimeter of the room. From the flowers that sat on the center of the tables to the backdrop for people to take photos in front of, there were many colors throughout the entirety of the room.
“It's a very colorful event, and usually there’s fireworks, so we added a firework backdrop,” said junior marketing major Akansha Kothari, the Indian Student Association’s event coordinator. “We wanted to make it more vibrant and kind of out there.”
The entertainment of the night came from the talent show, highlighting the College’s students.
Some of the acts included a duet by senior psychology major Kim Kumari and senior biology major Shreya Ranadive, an improv performance by The Mixed Signals, the College’s improv comedy troupe, and a dance performance from Jiva, the College’s semi-classical Indian dance team.
The performers went on in front of a panel of four judges.
The panel consisted of Lily Drennan, a senior international studies major and president of the College’s Asian American Association, senior political science major Dylan Chidick, and Adarsh Paul Varghese, a graduate of the College’s class of 2022 and former secretary of the Indian Student Association.
During the time in between performances, attendees had the opportunity to fill their plates with a variety of dishes.
Some items on the menu were chili paneer, gobi manchurian, biryani, raita, and naan — all dishes from Indian culture.
If they were not busy enjoying the show or eating dinner, guests could partake in various activities arranged by the Indian Student Association. These were all activities significant to Diwali and the cultures that celebrate it.
“It’s a kind of culture where households create these designs around their house to bring in prosperity,” said Kothari. “We have an activity where people can design their own diya.”
A diya is a small, cup-shaped, oil lamp that is made from baked clay.
Kothari continued, “During Diwali you light candles and you put those candles in little holders. They all have different designs and different colors.”
Sophomore accounting major Gurleen Saini, the Indian Student Association’s public relations coordinator explained, “we have henna tattoos, and also rangoli, which is colorful powder and you just make designs with it.”
The event allowed for people to be entertained, and entertain themselves, while engaging in culturally relevant activities and performances to celebrate Diwali.