The Campus Activities Board celebrated this year’s Diwali Festival of Lights on Nov. 9 at Citrus Lawn.
Diwali is India’s biggest holiday of the year and is observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Diwali directly translates to “row of lights,” which is where the festival gets its name. The Diwali Festival of Lights happens annually over the course of five days. This year, the Diwali celebration started on Sunday.
Students who attended CAB’s Diwali Festival were welcomed with a bright set-up full of colorful lights to emulate the holiday’s tradition.
“I’ve never seen an event put on for Diwali and thought that it would be really cool to introduce this holiday to students on our campus,” said Machaela Mclain, junior criminology major and multicultural chair for CAB.
Mclain, who planned the event, said that her job is to bring events onto campus that highlight different cultures.
Those in attendance also received a free black tote bag with a Diwali candle design and a message that said “Even in the darkest hour, there will always be light.” Mclain designed the tote bags and said that designing is one of her favorite parts of planning events.
“It gives me a way to express myself creatively and I thought that these bags fit the theme of the event really well,” Mclain said.
Students were encouraged to get a taste of Indian food served at the event. Coconut rice, vegan curry, chicken marsala, and naan flat bread were served by the University’s food service, Bon Appétit.
“I loved the food served tonight and I love the food that CAB serves at many of their events,” said freshman English major Ruthanne Chipeta.
As students filled the tables with their friends, others involved themselves in the activities offered at the event. One of the activities was henna painting. Henna represents good health and prosperity in Indian culture, similar to the virtues celebrated in the Diwali Festival.
“I really like the henna and the designs are so beautiful,” junior business administration major Kennadie Gonzalez said. Gonzalez, who also works for CAB, said that Mclain did a great job in highlighting Diwali’s traditions.
Candle painting was another activity offered to students in attendance. During the celebration of Diwali, lights and candles symbolize the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Students were given different colors of paint to design their own candle holder.
Junior psychology major and CAB member Mikalay Dacpano worked at the candlelight designing station. She said that this activity allowed everyone to add their own style to their personalized candle.
“I like working events like these because it also brings awareness to diversity and inclusivity for everyone, which is what we try our best to promote,” Dacpano said.
Sophomore rhetoric and communication studies major Rene Hulon said that aside from school and work, she likes coming to CAB events held throughout the year.
“I come because I know that CAB is always going to have activities for us to do and it’s something I look forward to,” Hulon said. She also said that she recommends CAB events to many of the freshmen on campus as a way to meet new people and make new friends.
“My whole friend group loves to come to CAB events and tonight’s one was really cool,” said Kate Rutledge, freshman anthropology and childhood development major.
Reflecting on the Diwali Festival event, Mclain said that she enjoyed putting it together and being able to interact with a culture outside of her own.
“It’s just such a beautiful holiday and I’m grateful that I got to bring that to our students,” Mclain said.
For more information on future CAB events, follow @lavernecab on Instagram.
Taylor Fukunaga can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.