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Indian representation is Strong at Diwali Gala

Feba George

On Nov. 7, Baruch College’s Hindu Student Association hosted “Diwali Gala: The Festival of Lights” in the Multipurpose Room with the main objective to spread Indian culture through music, games and food.

The night began with an introduction into what Diwali is and giving attendees a historical context as to why Diwali was important.

HSA’s Chair of Events Mahel Patel explained that the reason why Diwali is so important is because back in India’s historical past, the concept of weekends did not exist. People who celebrated it would travel back home to be with their families.

 They would light up candles known as diyas in order to keep animals away.

“We clean our house to keep the positive energy,” Patel said. “Our minds are full of darkness. We light up diyas to send a message that we are supposed to be the light and spread the light to others.”

 Krutika Khatri, who serves currently as the Hindu Students Association president, also expressed gratitude to everyone who was involved with preparation of “Diwali Gala,” from their own club to even members of Undergraduate Student Government and the United Sikh Association. Some of the students who attended the event wore traditional Indian clothing. The women wore lehengas while some of the men wore kurtas to the event. HSA also served food for their attendees. For the appetizers there were samosas, a fried triangular shaped pastry and naan, which is a flatbread.

Chicken tikka, a type of food that originated in the Indian subcontinent, was served for dinner. The event also catered to people who may be vegan by serving palak paneer. As for drinks, people could choose between soda or rose milkshakes. The DJ played both Bollywood music and a combination of hip hop and pop. Games such as musical chairs were also played at the event. USG’s Kim Kazadal, who attended “Diwali Gala” as a means to just have a good time, was the winner of the game.

Baruch students that showed up to the “Diwali Gala” had their own reasons for showing up. “I am Indian,” said Shaurya Taparia. “I am also an international student as well. Being an international student, I was able to celebrate Diwali with other students who share my culture.”

Other attendees shared similar reasons like Sanjna Puri.

“Diwali is really a big part of culture,” said Puri. “I wanted to see how others celebrated.”

 “Diwali Gala” organizers also ensured to everyone that the event was  open to all so students who were not of Indian descent could feel comfortable attending the event as well.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Briana Staten said, “I am interested in the Indian culture and I also share a love for the music.” Staten also expressed that she was looking forward to sampling the different cuisine. “I am also looking forward to just dancing to good music” Staten said. “I just want to have a great time.”

 Hindu Student Association’s President Krutika Khatari shared why “Diwali Gala” was very important to her. “Diwali serves as a very important event for our religion” Khatari said. “In our culture, Diwali marks the new year for us”. She also shared what she was hoping to aim for with this event. “I am hoping for people to recognize this as a holiday. We are a small group, probably the smallest group. Even though we are a small club, we mean a lot.”

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Jahlil Rush
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Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
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