Atithi devo bhava means “The guest is equivalent to god”.
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is around the corner. It is one of the major festivals of South Asian culture. This festival spiritually signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and hope over discouragement.
Since I was born and brought up in India, it is an honour to give an insight of how this festival is celebrated in South Asian countries. Devotees consider it an occasion for the arrival of divinity in their lives for establishing health and prosperity. A celebration of this festival involves lots of preparations and rituals commonly stretch out over a five days.
Before the Diwali night people clean, renovate and decorate their homes and offices with decorative lights. People light their houses with lots of oil lamps as this signifies burning of our ego. The day begins with exchanging of gifts between friends and family in order to strengthen the relationships. Also, beautiful and colourful designs of rangoli are created inside the houses to encourage the homecoming of the guests. A rangoli is created near doorways using material like sand, chalk, rice and grains. Throughout the day a lot more rituals take place including the pooja (a form of worshipping the deities in South Asia).
As dusk covers the horizon, people dress up in new outfits and enjoy the festival by burning firecrackers. The explosions can be seen everywhere in the sky and brighten the night. The festival concludes with a Bollywood touch as people dance to popular songs and perform traditional dances.
South Asian Association at Trent (SAAT) will be hosting their annual Diwali fest on November 4th in the Great Hall, Champlain College in collaboration with Trent Central Student Association (TCSA). It will start at 6 pm. As usual, expectations for the event are high. The hall will be decorated by candle light and oil lamps known as diya. Our guests will be greeted by beautiful designs of rangoli on the floor and a Bollywood rhythm.
Following some glorious performances of folk dances and musical instruments, guests will be served delicious South Asian food. After enjoying the firecrackers we will be concluding the night with an afterparty at Shots Night Club where dancing will be accompanied by bhangra and Bollywood songs. Our volunteers and the SAAT executive team cordially invite everyone to be the part of this auspicious occasion and our amazing culture.
Director of Finance (SAAT)