Bringing Light to Campus on Diwali Night

Students gather to celebrate the festival of lights (Photo Julia Chin/The Gettysburgian)

Students gather to celebrate the festival of lights (Photo Julia Chin/The Gettysburgian)

By Julia Chin, Staff Writer

On the evening of November 9, flickering tea lights illuminated the path to Glatfelter Lodge, bright beams of guidance among the darkness. Inside the cabin-esque building, however, was a different story.

In celebration of Diwali Night, the interior of Glat Lodge was a pop of multicolored shine, bopping Bollywood music, and a spread of toasty naan bread.

Tables were sprinkled with individual bits of glitter and color: dark plum-colored flowers, metallic confetti, and translucent glass stones the color of the sea were among the aesthetic array.

A portrait of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, a sign of wealth and prosperity, sat upon the mantle dripping with rainbow string lights.

Sid Kavitha Madhavan ‘19 said, “This is the first time I’ve come to the event here in Gettysburg. There are a lot family vibes going on and a love of love. Being here with your friends is amazing: I love it!”

People of all ages filled the room, and a fair amount of younger children glittered in festive Indian attire, providing an authentically familial atmosphere to the event.

One of the key coordinators of Diwali Night was Suzana Sarkar ‘21, the Vice President of International Club. Dressed in traditional clothes of velvet black and blue with decorative gold comments, Sarkar was the epitome of everything that Diwali is about: culture, radiance, and light.

“I missed Diwali back home because I’m here as an international student [from Nepal],” Sarkar said, “I was homesick, so this makes me feel like I’m celebrating back at home.”

She went on to point out the spread of source of delicious scents wafting through the air. The bright red tablecloth was host to lots of ethnic food, including tandoori chicken, naan bread, and aloo tama, a Nepali soup typically prepared with bamboo shoots, potatoes, and a variety of spices.

In the place of its origin in India, Diwali is known as the Hindu festival of lights. The religious festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over dark. The five days of celebration bring together family and friends for crafts, food, and culture.

Here in Gettysburg, Diwali brought a bit of that light and radiant happiness that comes from celebrating with loved ones all the way over to America from Asia. Diwali Night did not disappoint.

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Author: Julia Chin

Julia Chin ‘21 is an English major and Music minor from the “Sunshine State.” Julia conforms to her major’s stereotypes by collaborating with The Mercury, carrying around her weight in books, and asserting her passion for tea and oxford commas; however, she occasionally breaks up the blissful silence of literature through swing dance, theatre rehearsals, and the music of College Choir and Spark Notes (the a cappella group, not the website for foolish children who wish to avoid reading).

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