This Saturday, Nov. 9, the Hindu Student Union (HSU) and Asian Subcontinental Association (ASA) will co-host their most popular campus event, Diwali, in Laurie Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Diwali, or Festival of Lights, is one of the biggest Hindu festivals and is celebrated around the world for five continuous days. The name “Diwali” comes from “deepavali,” which translates into “row of lamps.” Throughout the festival, people light up diyas (oil lamps) and candles in their houses to signify the triumph of light over dark and good over evil. It is believed that colorful bursts of light drive away evil spirits, so fireworks can be seen illuminating the sky all throughout Diwali.
ASA president and Trinity’s Diwali coordinator Shruti Singh explains that Diwali festivities in India are comparable to New Year’s celebrations in the U.S.
“Since we go by the lunar calendar, Diwali acts as our new year. In order to usher in a new beginning, everyone buys new things, gets new clothes and cleans out their houses. It chases the bad spirits away,” Singh said.
During Diwali, all of the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends. Diwali is a time for reflection, family and new beginnings.
ASA and HSU have teamed up this year to put on a Trinity Diwali festival that is open to all students. There will be eight performances from a variety of clubs including ASA, HSU, Loon-E Dance Crew, Kappa Kappa Delta, Alpha Chi Lambda and Trinity Prowlers.
Co-hosts ASA and HSU are both very excited by the diversity of the groups participating in Diwali this year.
“This year we really reached out to other organizations. It’s not just people from the Indian/South Asian community in Diwali this year. We really tried to include a variety of organizations, so that we can share our culture with a larger audience. This year we have a very interesting and diverse group of people performing,” said sophomore and Diwali co-host Millie Sareen.
A wide variety of participating organizations brings an extensive array of performances. From hip-hop to Bollywood, Trinity’s 2013 Diwali celebration has something for everyone. There will be classical fusion pieces (classical dance mixed with hip-hop music), modern Bollywood presentations and even an upbeat Bollywood couples dance.
The celebration doesn’t stop there, though. After the show, the festivities will continue with free food, diya decorations and music in the Ruth Taylor courtyard.
“My favorite part about Diwali is getting to dance, wear colorful costumes, eat Indian food and share my culture with the Trinity community,” said sophomore Nithya Balasekaran.
Singh, a graduating senior, reminisces on her experience with different Trinity Diwali performances over the past three years.
“This is my last Diwali at Trinity, so I am looking forward to the whole thing. It gets more and more fun every year,” Singh said. “I am choreographing four of the dances this time, so I am really looking forward to hearing from people how it goes.”