Diwali, the Indian “festival of lights,” fell in mid-November this year and the Indian Student Association celebrated in style last Tuesday night. The celebration included festive dancing, delicious Indian food, and the promotion of a good cause.
The direct translation of Diwali into English is “row of lights,” and Diwali is often to referred to as the “festival of lights.” The abundance of lights is believed to signify “lighting up darkness, and destroying ignorance” said the Indian Student Association’s Vivek Bharadwaj. Normally, in India, the festival generally involves numerous fireworks and brightly colored dress, but the festival here at Mines still reminded the students of India. Bharadwaj explained that the ISA is for “anyone at Mines who is from India, or anyone else interested in Indian culture.”
The highlight of the night included a variety of traditional and modern fusions of Indian dances presented by Mines Alumni as well as the Mudra Dance Studio from Colorado Springs. The Mudra Dance Studio is a non-profit organization that facilitates the embracement of Indian culture through dance. They stress that “the only prerequisite is passion.” Their dances involved live drumming, vibrant clothing, and plenty of enthusiasm. After their spectacular finale, members of the audience were encouraged to join the dancing on stage. Everyone who participated was smiling from ear to ear. Dancing forms vary widely across India, and the form presented this Diwali came from the southern coast of the country.
The catered food was authentic Indian food, and included lentil soup, chicken, and curry. The atmosphere and the pleasant tastes of India united the range of cultures of those in attendance.
Perhaps the most important message of the night was the mention of the organization, Child Rights and You (CRY). They pointed out that “Mines students are so lucky, and you will all be successful someday. It is the season to give, to make someone else happy.” CRY was accepting donations that night, and urged generosity on any level.
Diwali was truly illuminated by the friendliness and warmth of dancing, good food, and philanthropy. This annual festival of lights is a necessary destination for anyone looking for an unforgettable cultural experience.