Diwali Dhoom celebration lights up Memorial Hall

By Amelia Orwick

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A single light fell upon the stage at Memorial Hall on Saturday night, illuminating the dancers who performed in celebration of the Festival of Lights at Diwali Dhoom.

Hosted by the Indian Students’ Association and the Indian Cultural Exchange, the event featured musical and dance performances and catered dinner by Masala Fine Indian Cuisine.

In the Hindu religion, the Festival of Lights remembers Lord Rama and his return to Ayodhya, his hometown, after he killed evil during war. His people were so happy to have Rama back that they welcomed him with fireworks and other displays of light.

To open, a video played of President Barack Obama wishing the nation a Happy Diwali.

Although the Festival of Lights is a religious holiday, Diwali Dhoom focused on the cultural aspect of the celebration.

Ultimately, the event is about togetherness, said Hinal Gandhi, co-host of Diwali Dhoom.

Performances included traditional Indian Punjabi dance and modern Bollywood renditions.

Between routines, another video showing parodied arranged marriage (a common event in Indian culture) and drew laughs from the audience.

For those in attendance unfamiliar with Indian culture, the event was especially awe-inspiring.

“I had a really good time,” biology junior Keegan Chandler said. “It was really cool to learn more about the Indian culture. It’s something I can’t say I knew anything about before this.”

Organizers were pleased with the turnout and how smoothly the event ran.

“I thought the event was very successful. It was great to see the community come out and support cultural organizations like the Indian Students’ Association and the Indian Cultural Exchange,” said biology junior Burhan Johar, who co-hosted the event with Gandhi. “And Masala hit the spot.”

Johar looks forward to celebrating the Holi, the Festival of Colors, next semester.