Aggie Diwali

Students will be able to learn about Hindu culture and traditions at the on-campus Aggie Diwali.

Campus Diwali 2019: In the Joy of Others will host Aggie Diwali on Nov. 13 from 7-9 p.m. in the Bethancourt Ballroom at the MSC. According to the Aggie Diwali Facebook page, this event will offer students from all backgrounds the opportunity to learn about the tradition of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light. While there, the students will practice mindfulness and meditation to promote peace within themselves.

Chemical engineering graduate student Mahesh Agrawal, president of the Indian Graduate Student Association (IGSA) at A&M, said in India, the celebration of Diwali is quite grand and elaborate.

“In India it is a huge, huge festival,” Agrawal said. “People would clean their homes and then prepare the home with decorate I with lights and flowers to celebrate Diwali. Then, the day of Diwali, we would wear the traditional clothes, invite relatives to come together, then we would have some very delicious Indian cuisine.”

Electrical engineering graduate student Arushi Patro said Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. Patro is the vice president of public relations for IGSA, who recently celebrated Diwali themselves.

“The day in which we celebrated it actually [fell] on the day India celebrated, so that was a wonderful coincidence,” Patro said. “So, what we did this time was, with our association, we took fellow members of the Indian community to a temple in Navasota. It’s called Shri Omkarnath Temple.”

Patro said she is excited about going to Aggie Diwali and appreciates the effort the organization has made.

“It’s a wonderful initiative that they have taken, and it’s very nice to attend and see how they organize it,” Patro said. “I’m looking forward to attending it for sure.”

Industrial engineering graduate student Smit Prashnat Mehta, director of networking for IGSA, said an event like this offers students who may not be familiar with the Diwali tradition the chance to learn more about it.

“It would be great if there was something on campus,” Mehta said. “It would be a great opportunity to showcase our culture, maybe to some people from other communities as well.”

Patro said she especially appreciates this event is happening on campus because it benefits international students by giving them the opportunity to celebrate Diwali without having to travel.

“The fact that it is happening on campus actually saves a lot of time, saves a lot of energy, and brings a lot of happiness to our international students who crossed thousands of miles to reach A&M to study,” Patro said. “They’re not with their families, and they’re not able to celebrate. So, especially with the sort of initiative like this happening on campus, it makes them feel a sense of belonging. It makes them feel a sort of inclusion.”

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