Namaste India hosts 15h Diwali Celebration

Kate Gagibina / Sun Star

UAF’s 15th annual Diwali celebration was held on Nov. 14 in the Wood Center Ballroom.  Traditionally, Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is considered one of the main holidays

Audience members eat and dance during the 2015 Diwali celebration. - Kate Nagibina / Sun Star

Audience members eat and dance during the 2015 Diwali celebration. – Kate Nagibina / Sun Star

in India and is part of a five-day celebration Nov. 11-16.  It is celebrated at UAF each year at an event organized by the Namaste India student club.

Diwali is the celebration of the triumph of good over evil.  In addition to the social celebration, people observe the holiday by cleaning and reorganizing their homes and workspaces, spending time with family and lighting candles and fireworks.

The celebration began with speeches by Sharish Patil, the faculty advisor of Namaste India, and Joe Hampton, chair of the UA Board of Regents.  It also featured musical performances by singers and instrumentalists.  Yojana, a petroleum engineering student, sang the first song, which was followed by a lecture about Indian culture.  Taraprasad Bhowmick also sang and played several instruments.

Performers danced traditional routines like katthak, lavani dance, folk dance and kashmiri dance.  Organizers served a banquet of Indian dishes they had prepared earlier that day, and the event ended after attendees stepped onto the floor to disco music to learn some Indian moves.

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