AU’s Hindu Student Association brings the Indian community together for a Deewangi Diwali celebration
Festival of lights became a lively night of celebration with food, live performances and dancing
The AU Indian-American community celebrated the Hindu holiday Diwali on Friday with a night of complimentary food, performances by AU dance teams and a hired DJ hosted by the AU Hindu Students Association.
Diwali is meant to celebrate the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, and also serves as the start of the Indian new year. It is one of the largest holidays in India.
Students and members of the AU community dressed up in traditional Indian clothing and came together to observe the holiday.
The event began with a buffet-style dinner serving common Indian dishes like samosas (fried savory pastries), biriyani (vegetable rice) and curry.
“The performances were great, really great,” said Arusa Islam, a sophomore.
Both teams danced to popular Bollywood music at the event, and the crowd responded eagerly with loud cheers and mouthing the lyrics alongside the dancers. The dances performed were intricate and complex, but the team performed them energetically and emotively.
“I like dancing for the team a lot,” said Meera Swaminathan, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Agni Dance Team. “It’s a very nice environment, and we have a really good balance of being friendly and happy with also just the structure of being able to get things done.”
Spectators of the event had a chance to get involved as well. After performances took place, the dance floor was opened up to the public. Members of the Indian community and other attendees piled together to twirl on the dance floor to modern Bollywood beats, mixed with some American pop music as well.
“I’m Indian, so this is pretty much my homeground,” said Gouri Ninave, a freshman in the Kogod School of Business. “It was epic. The food was great, the dancing was great.”
The HSA Diwali celebration allowed South Asian students to express themselves and their culture in a safe and exciting environment. According to the attendees and performers, the event was a success.
“Everyone has been very kind, specifically about corrections,” said Swaminathan. “People are very committed, especially the people who choreographed the Diwali dance. They did a beautiful job.”