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All photos by Elijah Gwayumba

“Shadows dancing through the candle light; strands of rangoli reflecting henna artwork; fireworks exploding into Bollywood fever. Welcome to the beauty of South Asia – welcome to Diwali.”

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[Pictured] A tabla (musical instrument)
On DSC_2085November 13, the South Asian Association at Trent (SAAT) hosted their annual Diwali event. This celebration stood out as bigger and better than many events that preceded it. The sold-out crowd, numbered upwards of one hundred people, caught a glimpse of the Festival of Lights. The crowd bathed in the serenity of cheerful conversation, melted into the savoury South Asian appetite, and marinated into the groove of Bollywood rhythm.

Lit up with diyas and candle-light, our guests relaxed comfortably into the pleasant atmosphere. The Great Hall transformed into a maze of clothed tables with a beautiful rangoli design laid by the forefront. Kicking off the campaign was MC Ryan Newman, the lead-host of the evening. He was joined by SAAT secretary Namrata Mangtani in presenting a brief summary regarding the origins of Diwali. Newman raised in Brampton, and Mangtani in India, the two executives contrasted their perception of Diwali with respects to each other’s upbringing.

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Afterwards, the executive team arose to introduce themselves. SAAT President Aaditiya Thakar received an ovation for appreciation of his family, who were in attendance for the event. The charming Samarjit Khaira, Mr. Money, enlightened us regarding his goals as director of finance. Beautiful Manpreet Kenth, director of events, is one of the two returning executives, and received appreciation for her continual dedication to the committee. Alester ‘Ale-Boy’ Fernandes was all smiles as usual, clearly mind-boggled by the amazing turn out. Finally, our first year representative Hassan Nisar humbly greeted us with his glowing charisma.

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Jennifer Fernando performed a traditional dance, with Vishal Dharamdass banging on the tabla in the background. Shortly thereafter, Varsha Patel aroused the guests with her Bollywood dance which was a mash-up of different tunes. Finally, SAAT ladies’ man Hassan Nisar moved the crowd in the signing of the romantic jingle ‘Dekha Na Tha’. In conclusion, Vishal engaged the audience with an experimental performance whereas the audience can ‘hear the tabla speak.’ Four excellent performances from four very talented individuals.

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By the explosion of crackers and the glow in people’s faces, the night was brighter than ever.

DSC_2223The night concluded with a party at Shots Night Club where our guests danced the night away. Bhangra and Bollywood filled the bar; our attendees ended the night on delight and happiness.

SAAT’s 2015 Diwali event exceeded all expectations. It was one of the greatest events in our history and we would like to thank all of our guests. Also, it was our first in collaboration with TCSA and we would like to thank TSCA for their support. Namely, we offer appreciation to our four performers, our executive committee, photographer Elijah Gwayumba, TCSA president Alaina Danielle, Shots Night Club, Champlain College, and volunteers Ateesh Mishra, Champagne Thomson, Muhammad Arif, and Sidak Meet.

Cheers, we’ll see you at our next event!”