Diwali Festival: Lighting Up a Darkening Season
More than a hundred students gathered to take part in Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, one of the most popular Hindu festivals, which is also observed by Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists.
It’s celebrated to offset the darkening season with religious rituals, lights, fireworks, and sweets and symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and goodness over evil.
Four students—Kavya Doraswamy ’24, Bhadra Mishra ’24, Khushi Patel ’23, and Aadhya Ramineni ‘23—organized what is said to be the largest Diwali celebration the College has ever held on campus. SASA also invited students from Bates and Colby to attend.
"Maine has a small South Asian population so coming together as a community is especially important," said Ramineni, who was effusive with her praise for fellow organizers and other students who made this celebration the biggest and most robust Diwali celebration yet—decorating with flower garlands and rose petals, practicing choreography, having an impromptu fashion show, and eating on the floor to honor the South Asian tradition.
"The success of this grand Diwali celebration is a result of the tight-knit community we’ve built over the course of the semester, thanks to students who are very invested in the community."
“Students had a blast and they were really happy to be able to share this celebration with the whole campus,” said Eduardo Pazos, assistant dean of student affairs for inclusion and diversity and director of the Center for Multicultural Life.
“From the meticulously decorated hall to the carefully practiced dances, the organizers put a great deal of effort into showcasing pride in their ethnic identity, ” said Vyjayanthi Selinger, Bowdoin’s Stanley F. Druckenmiller Associate Professor of Asian Studies. “All the attendees were eager to share in this cultural celebration with claps and shout-outs. It was incredibly fun. Moulton was almost unrecognizable with all the flowers hanging from the walls. I felt transported to India!"
After dinner and dancing, students lit sparklers outside Moulton, bringing Diwali's light and warmth into the night.