The event featured a brief educational video clip about Diwali, a singing prayer called the Aarti, Indian food and arts and crafts for younger children to partake in.
Sushupta Srinidhi, a 21-year-old senior international affairs and journalism major, helped organize the event and said Diwali is India’s new year, but is also a commemoration of the Hindu god Rama’s defeat of the evil King Ravana.
“Diwali is a festival of lights and it is celebrated all throughout India, usually celebrated as the New Year,” Srinidhi said. “The significance of it is pretty much righteousness over darkness or evil, which is why there are so many lights. There is a story in Hinduism as well, it’s the story of Rama.”Srinidhi said the event is intended for the Indian community to come together to celebrate.
“We wanted to have something that’s religious, just so that the Indian community at CU can get the chance to celebrate together,” she said.
Audrey Pazmino, a 19-year-old sophomore anthropology major, said she heard about the event through a friend.
“I thought it’d be a cool event; I’ve never gone to something like this before,” Pazmino said. “And it would be interesting to see because I read up a little about it but I wanted to see it in person. It’s supposed to be a lot about lights, oils and Hindi gods.”
Attendees at the Diwali event performed Aarti by holding a single oil candle and spinning it counterclockwise while singing a prayer of worship, gratitude and devotion. The Aarti lasted about 10 to 12 minutes. About 15 to 20 participants came to the front of the room, faced a shrine of candles and fragrant flowers and performed the ritual in either ones or twos.
Canyon Boak, a 20-year-old sophomore linguistics major, said he wanted to attend the Diwali event because of his interest in Indian language.
“I was invited by a friend,” Boak said. “I don’t know anything about Diwali but I find it interesting. I studied Sanskrit and I like Hindi. I like a lot of languages, so naturally, I figured, why not.”Srinidhi said the Diwali event on campus is meant for all students and community members to gather, learn about Indian culture and engage in the festive occasion.
“Diwali is a very colorful, very festive kind of ceremony and it’s great that people are interested in our culture and can celebrate with us,” she said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Neda Habibi at Neda.firstname.lastname@example.org.