Diwali Delight: A Night of Culture and Unity at Catholic University


Image Courtesy of Yashwant Katteboina

By Shardul Kanase

In a kaleidoscope of colors and vibrant energy, the Catholic University of America came alive with the spirit of Diwali on November 18. Students gathered for an event that transcended cultural boundaries, creating an unforgettable celebration that united the campus in joy and festivity.

The evening started with a warm welcome, setting the stage not just for a Diwali event but a journey into the heart of Indian traditions. During the opening ceremony, all students participated in the traditional worship ritual called Puja, adding a touch of sacredness to the festivities. 

The Indian Students Association President Shivamraj Raj set the tone with an inspiring speech, urging everyone to “Come to celebrate culture, develop community, and make a difference with ISA.” 

The event was organized by the students and their combined efforts were evident in the smooth flow of activities and vibrant atmosphere that filled the event.

The journey through the evolution of Diwali unfolded in the engaging “Time Travel Tale” presented by host Samreen Fatma with a short video and a crisp presentation that helped students understand the festival’s relevance. 

Later, the festivities reached a peak with “Diwali Dhamaka,” featuring lively games and fun activities organized by the Musical Chair. The Musical Chair game turned out to be a highlight, with participants from all backgrounds joining in the laughter and camaraderie, and it was so fun that the participants were also encouraged to participate in a second round. Winners were announced with a special token of appreciation. 

The Happel Room then transformed into a dance floor for the “Hook Step Challenge,” where students danced to the beats of Bollywood hits and nostalgic tunes and discovered some budding dancers from the crowd. 

Biomedical engineering major Daniel Zhao said, “I loved the Hook Step Challenge! It was so much fun to dance to Bollywood tunes with my friends. I never thought I’d enjoy it so much!” 

The Feast of Flavors, a culinary journey prepared by head chef Sandeep Shiraskar and friends, showcased homemade Indian cuisine and delectable desserts. Attendees savored the diversity of flavors, adding to the celebration. The night concluded with the venue transformed into a pulsating dance floor for the DJ night, where students danced away, celebrating the spirit of Diwali with music, lights, and boundless joy.

Yashwant Katteboina, getting a master’s in data analytics, said, “The feast was incredible! Homemade dishes made it feel like I was celebrating Diwali at home. Kudos to Chef Sandeep for bringing such authenticity to the event.” 

Davis Roddenberry, who is getting a master’s in business, said, “The Diwali Celebration was more than just a cultural event; it was an opportunity to connect with diverse traditions and make lasting memories. I can’t wait for the next one!

In the end, the Diwali Celebration was a testament to the power of cultural exchange and shared joy. As students left with hearts full of memories, the echoes of laughter and the rhythm of Bollywood tunes lingered, leaving an indelible mark on the campus community.

Image Courtesy of Samreen Fatma

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