On Sunday, October 22, Tilton hall was transformed into a South Asian retreat. Organized by the South Asian Student Association, the Eid-Diwali dinner is a celebration of two of the biggest south Asian festivals: the Hindu festival of Diwali and the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Adha.
The dinner started with a Hindu and an Islamic prayer, followed by a cultural show including a group song, a couple of singing performances and multiple dances that pumped up the crowd. There was free Indian food from our very own local favorite, ‘ The new House of India’, and people couldn’t wait for seconds. It was attended by over 200 Clark grads and undergrads.
The event was free to all Clark students, but had limited seats. The tickets were sold out on the first day of registration itself. This shows the level of excitement of Clarkies and their willingness to get exposed and experience various cultures that form the Clark community.
Even though many couldn’t understand the language, they took part in the festivities with all their heart and made it a memorable night. The performers of the night included Clarkies from different nationalities, religions and ethnicities.
Such events remind us the importance of various cultural and ethnic groups on campus, and the imperative role they play in enriching the Clark community.
Now what in the world do these exotic words mean?
Diwali: Popularly known as the ‘ festivals of lights’ is celebrated in Hindus all around the world and is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana,Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji.
Diwali consists of the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. Firecrackers are burst because it is believed that it drives away evil spirits. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends
Eid-al-adha: Also called Feast of the Sacrifice, the greater Eid, it is celebrated by Muslims all around the globe. It honors the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his young first-born son Ismail as an act of submission to Allah’s command and his son’s acceptance to being sacrificed, before Allah intervened to provide Abraham with a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Men, women and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer in an Eidgah or mosque. People sacrifice their best halal domestic animals.
Photo credit: Dusty Duong and Meghna Pradhan Nirula