The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

SASA hosts celebration of Diwali with festival

Printed with permission of Riyan Kadribegovic
South Asian Student Alliance (SASA) leaders and club members stand together at the Diwali celebration. The festival took place in Chalmers on Nov. 18.

South Asian Student Alliance (SASA) partnered with Cultural Heritage and Arts of India (CHAI) to hold its annual celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, in Chalmers on Nov. 18. Attendees burned sparklers, painted diyas and got temporary henna tattoos. In preparation for the event, SASA hosted a table with traditional foods, music and activities the day before on the Quad.

SASA leader Tanya Anand ’24 said the celebration was valuable due to the cultural connection of many students.

“Diwali is one of the best-known South Asian holidays, and the mythology behind it resonates deeply with a large portion of Asians and South Asians,” Anand said. “It was important to bring a small celebration to Harvard-Westlake because [Diwali] is a celebration of culture and diversity, as well as an appreciation of the South Asian culture at our school.”

SASA leader Kian Sharifi ’24 said through this celebration, students could share their customs with the broader community.

“Many students may not have been familiar with the holiday prior to this celebration, [so] as we celebrate Diwali and other South Asian holidays, we not only embrace our South Asian culture and heritage but also spread our culture to our school community,” Sharifi said.

SASA club member Nikhil Sarvaiya ’26 said acknowledging cultural practices is important as it raises awareness.

“[It is] essential to celebrate Diwali and other festivals with the school so that we can all be exposed to different cultures and gain a greater appreciation for the identities of the people around us,” Sarvaiya said.

SASA faculty advisor Margot Reimer said she hopes the celebration will inspire students to work for positive change.

“[Diwali] celebrates the victory of light over darkness, of good over evil and of knowledge over ignorance,” Reimer said. “I hope students took away that joy and inspiration to help make the world better in the ways that they can and to maintain hope and optimism that we can all make a positive difference in the world.”

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