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Diwali Festival of Lights

By Priya Gianchandani
On November 2, 2011

  • Diwali Festival at TAMIU. Courtesy photo from AIS Facebook
  • Alejandro Ovando participating in the festivities. Photo by Priya Gianchandani

On Monday October 24th 2011, the first Indian Festival of Lights, Diwali, was celebrated at Texas A&M International University. The main event took place from 5:00 to the Student Center patio. The festival was hosted by the Association of International Students (AIS) and the Indian Association of TAMIU, and it was sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs.

Before the main event, students played games and won prizes. The prizes won were handcrafted bags and frames. Raja Gajwani, a TAMIU student mentioned that, "It's the prime festival of India… making people know what Diwali is by raising cultural awareness, that is what the Association of International Students does." Students that attended the festival had the opportunity to try a variety of different activities like Rangoli. Rangoli is a decorative folk art of India and is used as a sacred welcoming area for Gods. At the event Bollywood music was played followed by religious music at prayer time. Later on, attendees got to sample popular Indian cuisine dishes such as chicken biryani, pakoras, gajar ka halwa, and kher. Many candles were lit for the prayer ceremony where God and Goddesses pictures were displayed. Once the prayer ceremony finished students danced the night away under the stars.    

Those that attended the festival got a glimpse of the Indian culture. They got to learn about one of the most important and vibrant festivals that Indians celebrate. Anuron Mandal, a student of TAMIU stated that, "It signifies a new beginning and the return of hopes and dreams." According to Indian culture, Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil.

For   more   information   you   can   go   to   the   AIS   Facebook   page   or   you   can   contact   Cornelius   Kipkorir   president   of   AIS   at

(Priya Gianchandani may be reached at


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