HSA celebrates Diwali with club hours kickoff
ion organized Diwali Kick Off during club hours on Thursday, Nov. 17. The event included a henna tattoo station, Diya decorating and a variety of Indian food.
Madura Lakuleswaran, a senior majoring in finance, said that Diwali is about coming together and celebrating family.
“This kickoff is to hype up our Diwali Gala. Everyone here can learn more about Hindu tradition from this gala. I want Baruch students to be exposed to Hindu customs, dance, food and stories. One of the cool things about this upcoming gala is that it will include a play performance.”
Diwali is one of the most notable holidays in Hinduism. The festival is celebrated for five days, where the third day is renowned as the main Diwali festival, or Festival of Lights. Hindus light up Diyas, a type of oil lamp crafted as a way of paying respect to the gods, to decorate their homes. This is a part of Lakshmi Puja, when devotees clean their houses and prepare a meal to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Participants ask for blessings and desire to obtain health, knowledge and peace.
Additional jubilees include the exchange of gifts and the lighting of firecrackers. Mansha Sadh, a sophomore who is an accounting major, explained that Diwali is a holiday celebrating light. “This Diwali kickoff event is a precedent to our Diwali Gala on Nov. 21 .
We wanted to host a kickoff to reveal our heritage to students. I hope that they understand our rituals. We thought up the idea of creating a Diwali kickoff in meetings. We brainstormed, thought about each individual’s skill sets and gave members different roles.”
When asked about her favorite part of Diwali, Sadh replied, “The henna—I did mine last night. I also love the art form rangoli, because everyone’s creations are different.”
Students had a variety of henna tattoo design choices at the event. Other students gave creating their own clay diyas a shot at the same table, including freshman Afia Adu-Gyamfi.
Adu-Gyamfi, an intended marketing major, said that she heard about the Diwali holiday and was impressed with the event’s beautiful henna, candle-making, decorations and vivid colors.
“This event shows how diverse Baruch is and I like how the college embraces many cultures,” she said.
Students and professors also lined up to taste the various assortments of food. HSA members offered jalebi, a sweet composed of flour batter in the shape of a pretzel that is a favorite during Diwali.
There were also opportunities to try cham cham, which is a dessert covered with coconut flakes, gulab jamun, which are milky balls softened with rose scented syrup and rasgulla, which are dough cooked balls made up of paneer, a South Asian cheese.
“My favorite part was the free dessert and henna,” Michelle Teja, a freshman who is an undecided major, said. “I did not know about Diwali, and this experience shows how varied Baruch is.”
HSA will host its Diwali Gala on Nov. 21 in the Multipurpose room from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The night will encompass dancing, music and singing.