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Diwali: Festival of Lights

By Sandy Lugo
On December 13, 2012

Have you ever heard about Diwali? In Hindu culture, it is most famously known as the "festival of lights," a new life, and a new beginning. On Tuesday, Nov.13, various Texas A&M International University students met at the Student Center rotunda at 6 p.m. to celebrate Diwali.

Diwali is a special day for all those living in India, it is similar to the New Year's celebration in the United States. This time, since the Texas A&M International University students from India were far from home, they decided to celebrate on campus and share with other students their traditions. The Association of International Students (AIS) and Office of Student Affairs (OSA) organized this event months in advance. There were a lot of volunteers from these organizations and many more.

Hindi students set up trivia booths, where you were able to win prizes by answering some questions at the end of the event, they did henna tattoos, wrote people's names in Hindi and placed it in a nice frame, and gave out the astrology reports, which were ordered earlier in the day. These astrology reports form part of Hindi traditional options. When a couple wants to get married, they ask for an astrology report in order to know if they are compatible to have a successful marriage.

During this day, all Hindi clean their homes and gather as a family to pray and then eat. During the prayer they take off their shoes as a sign of respect. Many TAMIU students took part in this tradition. They applauded and prayed while listening to Hindi music. After the prayer was done, smoke was delicately spread throughout the rotunda as a thank you and to wish for the best. After this, a hemp string was tied to their wrist in order to be helped in difficult situations. Then, they enjoyed their dinner along with their family and friends.

This is an important event for all those living in India. OSA's partnership with AIS helped make this a great celebration. This event was part of International Week, where other events such as the Flag Walk, Global Talk, Photo Exhibit, and Cultural Festival took place.

For more information, you may contact the Office of Student Affairs at (956) 326-2280

(Sandy Lugo may be reached at

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