By Gene Williams
The Diwali Celebration hosted by the Indian Student Association
was held Thursday in the University Stables.
This event, known all over the world as the festival of lights,
brings Indian culture, food, music and art to the Cal Poly
Diwali is called the festival of lights because the lamps used
as a light source are metaphors for knowledge that overpowers
The more than 200 students in attendance waited in lines for
authentic Indian food, exotic henna tattoos and Indian folk
This year marks the seventh time ISA has put on this festive
event to teach and show students a different side of Indian
“It’s a day to get rid of ‘evil’ on earth,” said Rajneel Chand,
ISA president and fourth-year technology and operations management
Diwali strives to unite people from all cultures, which is the
true meaning of the festival.
“This festival is a celebration of oneness from different
cultures and faiths,” said guest speaker Anjana Naraya, a
psychology and sociology professor. “It’s heartening. Diwali
represents freedom and knowledge.”
Things kicked off with henna tattooing, a staple at Diwali every
Designs are commonly placed on the hands of women in various
intricate styles such as petals, peacocks or Arabic writing.
Used as decoration for weddings, festivals and special events,
henna tattoos are always popular among attendees.
Musician Aloke Dasgupta performed traditional Indian sitar music
and the ISA Bhangra team performed traditional Indian dances.
Los Olivos Dining catered the food and featured a few Indian
vegetarian dishes such as garlic naan, a flatbread; samosas,
stuffed, fried pastries; and kheer, a rice pudding, for
“It’s a great experience to have cultural events on campus to
show how different cultures live,” said Christopher Campbell, a
second-year business and psychology student.
Unity and culture merged to make a welcoming atmosphere.
“Having this event on campus is a great growing experience,”
said Julie Nguyen, a fourth-year biotechnology student.
Seventh on-campus Diwali fest delights and enlightens
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