Students and teachers feast and make sand art to celebrate Diwali


Mike Marrie

A student makes rangoli sand art in the library courtyard during the Diwali feast.

Cami Culbertson, Staff Writer

Students and teachers alike gathered with an excited buzz to savor the variety of foods provided by members of the South Asian Heritage Club for a Diwali feast Oct. 27. 

For the first half of the celebration, traditional South Asian foods were provided in the Moran library and library courtyard. The delicacies ranged from samosas, triangular baked pastries with savory fillings, to gulab jamun, or mini-donuts in sugar syrup, to mango lassi, a yogurt-based drink. 

Outside in the courtyard of the Moran Library, a “rangoli” sand art station was set up, where students could create a number of designs using stencils.  

Diwali is celebrated across India.

“Everybody celebrates Diwali — Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others — which is really nice because it unites everyone in society,” said junior Eshaan Mani, a member of the South Asian Heritage Club.   

Students in the South Asian Heritage Club worked during affinity time to organize the event, including an assembly to promote the event and educate about Diwali and other fall festivals, including Navratri, a nine-night festival to celebrate the Hindu goddess Durga, and Eid Milad un-Nabi, commemorating the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. 

The students prepared by watching and practicing the choreography to a popular Bollywood song “Kala Chashma” provided by Ms. Anjaly Thakkar, math teacher and co-sponsor of the South Asian Heritage Club with debate teacher Mr. Eric Emerson. 

The club met for several rehearsals before performing their dance during assembly. Mani also performed a traditional Navratri set on the dhol, a double-headed Indian drum. 

“This year, we made it a point to not just talk about traditional ones but also regional ones, like Onam, and religious ones, like Eid,” Mani said. “We haven’t talked too much about non-Hindu, non-Indian festivals, which shows we’re moving forward as the South Asian Heritage Club.” 

The South Asian Heritage Club has been planning more events for this year. They plan to host  celebrations in the spring for Holi, the festival of color, and Basant, the festival of the harvest.

“We’ll throw color on each other, and there’ll be some dancing and music and food,” said senior Jaisal Kalapatapu, member of the South Asian Heritage Club.