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Nabanita Talukdar dances at Diwali on November 6, 2016 in the Baker Ballroom. (LIZ MOUGHON | PHOTO EDITOR)

ISA brings annual Diwali Festival of Lights to OU

One of the biggest celebrations from India will bring light, food and good company to Ohio University on Sunday.

Diwali is the festival of lights celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. The festival commemorates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.

OU’s Indian Student Association will host 2017’s Diwali celebration at 5 Baker Ballroom. Admission is $7.

Akshita Ambati, a graduate student studying information and telecommunications and the vice president of ISA, said he is looking forward to the annual celebration.

“Back in India, like the Fourth of July, we have a huge firework display,” Ambati said. “Families would also cover their entire houses in candlelight and it would always be such a beautiful display.”

Although there will not be fireworks at the event in Baker Ballroom, Akshita said the student organization will incorporate as many Diwali traditions as possible.

“There will be tons of traditional Indian foods that will be served as well as Indian music in which people can dance to,” Akshita said. “One of our more popular instruments called the tabla will be played and I’m especially looking forward to that.”

ISA’s goal is to sell 300 tickets and as of press time, they have already sold more than 200 tickets, according to Akshita. 

“It’s going to be a really big event,” Akshita said. “Even though there’s only seven of us on the committee I’m very excited for the whole evening.”

Ashwin Ramanujam, a graduate student studying chemical engineering and the president of ISA, is also excited for the special festival.

“My favorite thing about Diwali is getting together with my family,” Ramanujam said. “(The celebration) has such a rich heritage that I’m glad to be sharing with the students here.”

Ramanujam has made many friends through the Diwali events celebrated here at OU, and he thinks it’s really cool that others from all different backgrounds are able to come together and appreciate the culture.

ISA member Hardika Singh, a freshman studying journalism, is excited to celebrate her first Diwali in Athens.

“To be honest, the main reason why I’m going is for the food,” Singh said. “Indian people cook really delicious food, so I’m super pumped for that.”

Singh’s favorite Indian cuisine is shahi paneer and chole kulche, which has a lot of curry in it. Aside from the food, Singh is also looking forward to bringing her friends to their first Diwali experience.

“I’m bringing two friends of mine that are of different cultural backgrounds to Diwali, because I want them to experience one of my favorite Indian traditions,” Singh said. “I have a feeling they will have a really good time.”


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