The Darden South Asia Society (DSAS) recently hosted a Diwali gathering on 5 November for the Darden community. Diwali, also called Deepavali, generally lasts five days (or six in some regions of India) and is one of the most important festivals of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. The holiday symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. Over the centuries, Diwali has become a national festival enjoyed by many communities.
This year, the event was attended by over 200 students, faculty and staff. Dean Beardsley and Professor Sankaran Venkataraman surprised us with an address before joining in on the festivities. The festival included a photo booth and 6 dance and musical performances by 26 DSAS members. Rich and savory dishes served during Diwali play a central role in the celebration, and DSAS delivered by serving traditional South Asian food dishes during the Diwali event. It was a night to remember for all who attended. Nirali Kansara, President of DSAS, said it best:
The DSAS Board worked very hard in organizing the event, and it was very heartwarming to see everyone at Darden come together and celebrate it with us. It was truly a night filled with joy, light and colors, and we are glad that everyone enjoyed the evening, from drawing rangoli (sand art) to dancing at the end of the evening.