Students celebrate Diwali


Makeda Neavill ’21 faces the camera as the music plays during the Diwali Festival hosted by the South Asian Students’ Alliance (SASA). SASA played a video of Boot Squad members dancing to “Nagada Sang Dhol” by Shreya Goshal and Osman Mir in honor of the holiday. Printed with permission of Mohona Ganguly and Chiemeka Offor

Lucas Cohen-D'Arbeloff

The South Asian Students’ Alliance (SASA) hosted an online event Nov. 20 celebrating Diwali, the five-day Festival of Lights observed by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the world.

SASA President Mohona Ganguly ’21 began the meeting with a presentation offering an overview of the holiday and its origins. In India, various religions and areas of the country honor different stories during the festival.

After learning about Diwali, attendees played online games and made crafts

Attendees then participated in a round of Kahoot, an online multiple-choice quiz game that tested students on the material Ganguly presented.

“We thought that the Kahoot would be a fun way to make the presentation more interactive,” Ganguly said. “I think that it definitely gave more context behind the many different reasons people love Diwali in a fun and engaging way.”

SASA Vice President and Chronicle News Editor Tanisha Gunby ’21 and Ganguly played YouTube video tutorials instructing students on how to create makeshift diyas, oil lamps that are traditionally lit during Diwali. Gunby also explained how to create Henna tattoos using supplies at home.

Students were given time to work independently on these projects while Bollywood music played. As attendees finished their creations, some asked the organizers questions about Diwali tales and practices.

Attendee Cameron Herring ’21 said she valued the effort to showcase South Asian culture through the Diwali event.

“There is very little South Asian student representation at [the school], so having an entire festival dedicated to celebrating such an important holiday within the culture felt extremely empowering,” Herring said. “I think the event was a success and a pivotal step towards increasing South Asian appreciation on campus.”

Boot Squad members preformed in honor of the holiday

To close out the evening, Ganguly premiered a music video featuring members of the Boot Squad, a school dance troupe, in honor of Diwali.

“[The performance] was a perfect way to end the night, and I think it really embodied the spirit of the Festival of Lights.”