Diwali Festival Celebrates Light
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights that is celebrated once every year in the fall. This year, the holiday lands today, on October 19th. It traditionally celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. The festival is celebrated in many ways, including lighting lamps and candles, setting off fireworks, exchanging sweets, and decorating doorsteps with rangoli decorations made up of colored powder. Countries all over the world celebrate Diwali, including India, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Fiji, Guyana, Malaysia, and Myanmar.
This past weekend, the Koka Booth Amphitheatre hosted a festival called Cary Diwali to celebrate this aspect of Indian culture. The festival was a culmination of food, dancing, singing, art, music, and more. During the daytime, booths populated the Amphitheatre, selling Indian food, clothes, jewelry, and offering henna designs. Cultural exhibitions allowed participants to learn about Indian cooking, yoga, spices, food, and Rangoli art work. Later at night, Koka Booth Amphitheatre hosted an Indian dance group from Russia called Mayuri that has been dancing for over thirty years, showing how Indian culture can be celebrated by people all over the world. The night ended with a fireworks display.
Many Green Hope students participated in the festival. Sophomore Preeti Naglamadaka and Junior Sachi Champaneria both danced onstage at Koka Booth during Cary Diwali, pictured below with their respective groups. When asked about why she thought festivals like Cary Diwali were important, Preeti said “I think it is great that we celebrate different cultures because we can enjoy various aspects of their cultures while learning to respect them as well. It also helps us be united because understanding each other’s cultures brings us closer together. It helps us appreciate different cultural groups.” Diwali is a time for setting aside hate and bringing people together with love, light, and joy. Happy Diwali!