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The crowd watches a video presentation entitled "Incredible India."

Student group throws Diwali bash

The public celebrated Diwali with food, music, and dancing.


The Indian Students Association threw nothing less than a raging dance party Saturday night in celebration of Diwali, an ancient Hindu festival of lights. 

With more than two hours of performances, including duets, solos, piano tributes, an Indonesian trio and a Bollywood band from Columbus, Baker’s ballroom was brimming with a diverse range of entertainment. 

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The Indian Students Association and volunteers put months of planning into the event, said Subhabrata Ghosal, president of ISA and a graduate student studying industrial and systems engineering. 

“There is a large Indian community here,” said Ghosal. “Most are students and faculty members, with some Indian families here and there — regardless we are planning on a large turnout.”

And they did turn out. With only 300 tickets available for sale, the event sold out days before Saturday’s festivities.

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Guests learned about Diwali’s purpose as a holiday and how Hindes devote their celebration in the triumph of light over darkness, and the return of Lord Rama. But cultures are mixed and varied at the event as regional cultures in India are celebrated along with different religions, said Ghosal.

This year’s event ushered in some welcomed additions to the celebration. 

“Something new this year was for the first time we had students offer to cook the food for the entire event,” said Bhakti Shah, a graduate student in higher education. “Also, what was new for this year was the band. They came all the way from Columbus, and are students from Ohio State University.” 

Some tables in the ballroom were reserved for other organizations on campus. 

“Many organizations come in support of the international groups here,” said Anna Kukelhan, a junior studying international affairs who attended Diwali with the global studies organization, along with other handfuls of students. “It’s a great way to support these organizations with their events they plan.”

After dinner, the dance floor was open to anyone who wanted to dance. Many graciously took up the offer, and sang along with popular Bollywood songs that blasted through the speakers. 

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Probably one of the more obvious portions of the Festival of Lights are the lights.

The ISA anticipated fireworks and firecrackers for the event, but the idea was shot down by the Ohio University Police Department. The organization hopes to have that in the books for next year, Ghosal said.



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