– by Srinidhi Satish ’18
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights that is celebrated every year during the Fall season. It is a celebration of good over evil, light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. During Diwali, we worship goddess Laxmi, who is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Every family that celebrates Diwali has their own traditions to do so.
Here at St. Olaf, Celebrate South Asia! brings together a program that tries to integrate the religious, cultural, and traditional aspects of this festival. In order to elaborate the religious aspect, we had a prayer ceremony, pooja, which was performed and explained by family of one of our members on November 5th, at 12 noon.
We had the cultural celebration event on the same day, at 6:30pm in the Lion’s Pause. This event showcased performances of various types. We had dances and songs from different South Asian countries, people talking about their traditions of celebrating Diwali, a speech given by Prof. Rambachan who is a faculty in the Religion Department at St. Olaf, and North Indian food was served at dinner.