Desi Student Organization Hosts Diwali Night

Photo Credit / Penelope Jordan Performers Chinmayi Mungara (back) and Soumya Khandavalli (front)

By Penelope Jordan

Contributing Writer

The Desi Student Organization known as DSO, played host to Diwali Night this past Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Innovation Center.

The festival began with a ceremonial lighting of lamps in honor of the Hindu gods and was followed by an introduction and background of Diwali.

The word “Diwali” is the modern version of the Sanskrit word “Deep Avali,” which means rows of light. Diwali, otherwise known as “The Festival of Lights” is a five-day festival always occurs on the 15 day of the Hindu lunar month Kartik (October/November).

“Diwali is the most important celebration in Hindu culture, it’s the time of year where we clean our hearts and forgive,” added Chinmayi Mungara, a visiting performing student from Rutgers University.“[The festival] it symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Good will always win out in the end.”

The audience was treated to a few classical and Bollywood dances by the children of the community and music by DJ Karran Rattan. The dancers were dressed in vibrant colors with dramatic stage make-up to fully embody the richness of their culture.

The girls danced without shoes and tied small bells around their ankles to generate sound through their elaborate dances.

Following the dances, an authentic Indian dinner was served from the Clove Restaurant in Allentown. Near the end of the celebration, the crowd gathered in the parking lot to watch firecrackers and sparklers. ESU’s DSO is open to all students and represents the United States, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Guyana, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Trinidad and the Caribbean, plus other Diaspora South Asian countries.

The Office of Student Engagement is putting together another Festival of Lights this Friday, Nov. 3.

There will be food, games and even a henna tattoo artist. The Hindi celebration will take place in the gathering lounge of the University Center from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Email Penelope at: