SASA observes Diwali


Natalie Cosgrove/Chronicle

While snacking on South Asian food, Aiden Schiller ’22 paints henna on Rohan Madhogarhia ’22. Meanwhile, Jack Coleman ’22 decorates a diya candle using both Sharpies and stickers.

Natalie Cosgrove

South Asian Student Alliance (SASA) hosted their annual celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights observed by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the world, on the Flag Court on Nov. 4. Club members provided traditional Indian foods and ran activities such as henna and diya candle decoration.

SASA leaders Mateen Sharifi ’22 and Liana Wadhwani ’22 gave a presentation at the start of the event to educate participants on the traditions associated with the holiday. Sharifi said he hopes to share Hindu customs with the school community.

“We really wanted to raise awareness about the traditions [surrounding Diwali] and the holiday in general,” Sharifi said. “We like to have fun with the food and the decorations, but a big part of [the event] was educating [the student body] through the presentation to get people to know a little more about the celebrations.”

Wadhwani said she appreciates how the school has created an environment in which students of different religions can come together to celebrate their respective cultures.

“I think an event like [the Diwali celebration] is great because [the school] is a very diverse place,” Wadhwani said. “Getting to see us all come together to celebrate a holiday that is not normally celebrated by schools is really great. It is amazing that [the school] allows us to get together and share our culture with the rest of the community.”

SASA Faculty Advisor Margot Reimer oversaw the event and said she enjoyed learning more about South Asian culture and partaking in the festivities.

“I think students [were able] to learn something about South Asian culture,” Reimer said. “I am hoping students [felt] a sense of inclusion and welcoming while also [getting] educated about [SASA].”