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Diwali highlights Indian culture

From Staff Reports

The newly formed Indian Cultural Association turned the Campus Center ballroom into a heavenly place of light as members celebrated Diwali, on Tuesday.

“Many people have Diwali parties around this time and it makes sense to celebrate as a school and a club so we can show we are active,” Aksheta Verma, president of the ICA said.

“Since there are very few Indian students, this event is a big deal and it is exciting that many people have showed up,” sophomore club member Tahil Sharma said.

Diwali, or the festival of lights, marks the Hindu new year and is celebrated with traditional activities.

Diwali is traditionally celebrated with the lighting of small clay oil lamps to signify the triumph of good over evil and to bring in the new year.

“We gave out candle holders with potpourri since we’re not allowed to give candles away, and cutting the wicks would completely defeat the purpose,” Verma said.

Traditional samosas made with potatoes, peas and spices then deep fried, served as a tasty dish for the party.

For dessert Jalebi was served, which is made from gram flour and sugar that is swirled into circles.

Guests looking for a more familiar snack were given the option of chips and salsa as well as drinks.

A DJ playing traditional Indian music accompanied by a sea of lights filled the dance floor to create a joyous and festive atmosphere for those in attendance.

Verma taught guests how to dance Bhangra, which is a classical panjabi style of dance, so that they could join her on the dance floor.

Outside the ballroom, henna tattoos were available for those looking to keep the memory of the evening alive.

Andrea Sotosainz, senior anthropology major, sat outside applying the tattoos for guests. As the evening continued guests were allowed to make their own designs.

“The celebration was a good first taste for people, it had music and food which are the most well known parts of the Indian Culture,” Vice President of the ICA, Arely Ortega said.

The ICA will hold its next major event in the spring. For more information on the club contact Aksheta Verma at

Christina Collins Burton and Grace Casale contributed to this story.

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