The Charger Blog

Graduate Student and Diwali Celebration Organizer: ‘Everyone Enjoyed the Event to the Fullest’

I was delighted to be a part of the University’s recent Diwali celebration, and I am passionate about ensuring that all students experience a sense of belonging and a home away from home.

November 15, 2022

By Amna Jalali ’23 M.S.

Students celebrate Diwali at the University.
Students celebrate Diwali at the University.

As president of the University's Indian Student Council (ISC), I have, throughout the academic year, always attempted to organize activities for students that encourage diversity and inclusion.

It was wonderful to feel at home at the University’s large-scale Diwali celebration. The event was held in collaboration with the Office of Graduate & International Student Life (OGISL) & the Student Committee of Programming Events (SCOPE), making it incredibly friendly and treasured.

What is Diwali?

Diwali is one of the most important festivals celebrated with great happiness all over India and around the world. Diwali is also known as “Deepavali” which means “row of lights,” row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects them from spiritual darkness. “Festival of lights” celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and the blessings of victory, freedom, and enlightenment.

It’s a Christmas, of sorts, for Indians, a time for family gatherings, dressing in their best traditional outfits, organizing feasts, and exchanging gifts. We enjoy decorating our homes with fancy lights, candles, and “dia” lamps, making rangoli (artwork from dry powder), and burning firecrackers.

Students dancing and enjoying delicious Indian food.
As part of the celebration, students danced and enjoyed delicious Indian food.
'Why it’s Important’

Planning the University’s Diwali celebration was a rollercoaster ride. From countless hours of planning to the actual action, it involved lots of learning, time management, keeping a positive attitude, and a team effort. Even with all the overlapping midterms, classes, and internship work, it felt like a breeze with such great support from Jason Howell, coordinator for student engagement. ISC secretary Yash Malhotra ’23 M.S. did a tremendous job showcasing awaited dance performances and taking care of the participation – from singing and dancing to rangoli making.

Left to right: Yashpreet Malhotra ’23 M.S., Amna Jalali ’23 M.S., and Jason Howell.
Left to right: Yashpreet Malhotra ’23 M.S., Amna Jalali ’23 M.S., and Jason Howell.

I am happy the University’s Diwali celebration was a hit, and that everyone enjoyed the event to the fullest. The celebration is one of the biggest events ISC plans during the academic year, and everyone looks forward to it!

Celebrating the festival with our Charger family creates an inclusive environment and a rich experience for students from different cultures to enjoy and learn the rich heritage of India, an all-embracing confluence of religions and traditions.

Amna Jalali ’23 M.S. is a candidate in the University’s graduate program in finance. She is president of the Indian Student Council and vice president of the Women in Business Club.