On Nov. 1, the chemistry faculty at Keene State College celebrated Diwali, an annual Indian celebration of lights.
KSC Postdoctoral Research Associate in the chemistry department, Manpreet Kaur, who is from India, celebrated Diwali. The celebration was held on the first floor of the Living Learning Commons (LLC) at KSC.
“Diwali is a festival of lights, so it signifies the triumph of the good over evil. It is usually celebrated with lots of sweets, lots of festive colors, lots of lights and fireworks and fire crackers,” said Kaur.
Kaur came to KSC from India last year as a post-doctorate in chemistry, and has been a resident of the LLC.
Kaur said there are many religious myths and stories behind why the Diwali festival is celebrated in India.
“There are various mythological stories associated with [Diwali]. Some of the Hindu stories go back to Lord Ram coming back from the exile in the forest I guess, there are different stories I am not sure, because I am not too religious,” said Kaur.
Kaur said that to celebrate a Diwali on campus exposes students to Indian cultures that they do not see on television.
“They don’t see these kind of things on television, all they see are Bollywood movies and songs, so this will be a good way for them to get to know India a little better,” said Kaur.
“This particular celebration of festival is exposing people to things that we don’t really see on a day to day basis,” said a first-year student, Elizabeth Abrevaya, during the celebration.
http://kscequinox.com/wp-admin/themes.phpSome students were engaged in making rangoli designs on the floor, creating a couple of flower ornaments using different colored sands. Kaur said that rangoli is made during the celebration of Diwali in India. Traditionally, a rangoli is usually made with chalk and rice powder in India, but here she substituted them with colored craft sand, said Kaur.
KSC first year student, Sarah Smith said, “I don’t know much about Diwali but it was fun. I liked the sand painting and tried my best with others around me.”
Kaur said that she felt some vibes of Diwali from her home in India and it made her happy to experience the celebration here in Keene.
“It does make me feel happy and makes me feel a little like I am at home because I am doing things that I would be doing in India,” said Kaur.
Priya Chhetri can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org