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Indian Student Association Hosts a Diwali Event

By: T Kinkley, Art and Culture Writer

ISA hosts a Diwali event to bring new cultural food, activities, and fun to campus. (Photo Courtesy: Regan Carlson)

Washington and Jefferson’s Indian Student Society (W&J ISA) hosted it’s first event of this semester, a Diwali celebration. Pairing with Active Minds, the Asian Culture Association (ACA), and the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS), ISA created many activities and freebies for the students and staff to learn more about Diwali and Indian Culture. This event was funded by the Student Government Association (SGA), ensuring that each part of the event went smoothly and was properly allotted funding.

Diwali is an event that multiple religions celebrate. Some of the core ones include Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. It is considered a festival of lights. It celebrates light over dark, good over evil, and the thankfulness of victory and freedom. Most households celebrate the third day of Diwali as the biggest, lighting the Diyas and clay candles on this day. The celebration generally takes place over five days, but some cultures shorten it to just one day.

When W&J’s (SGA) members voted on this, there were no members who said no to sponsoring this event. The event began to be promoted and built-up excitement throughout the student body. Posters were hung and social media posts were made.

Diwali at Washington and Jefferson included food, sparklers, activities, and lots of take-home items. The ISA brought back fan favorite foods, such as mango lassi, and brought new foods like pav bhaji. Samosas were brought to this Diwali event as well. Henna was also popular at other cultural events, so it was brought back thanks to the ACA. Active Minds handed out different spiced teas and sheet masks for information on ayurvedic medicine. ISA quoted that sparklers are a Diwali must-have and credited SAACS for sponsoring them. They also had paintable diyas, which were a big hit as they are a major part of Diwali and the celebration of culture. These diyas bring light to outweigh the darkness during the celebration.

Diwali is often celebrated over a five day period in many religions with friends and family. (Photo Courtesy: Regan Carlson)
This event came as a success. Students took to YikYak, the anonymous posting app, to speak of how much they enjoyed it. One student posted, “ISA more like ISSlay”. Another student posted, “THIS INDIAN FOOD GOES CRAZYYYYY”. These were only two of multiple comments that had been posted to YikYak, as well as posts on students’ Instagram stories. This success came to no surprise, as other ISA events over the last academic year had been considered to be successes around campus. Last year, after their Chaat & Chat event, a student posted a comment under the club’s “thank you” post stating, “ISA food > comms”. Even ISA claimed Chaat & Chat to be a success, and hearing students approval of how well they did helped them continue to bring more culture to W&J.

To keep up with the ISA, you can follow them on Instagram, @wj_isa, and keep a look out for their posts. You can also find the helping organizations on Instagram. ACA: @wj_aca, SAACS: @wj_saccs, and Active Minds: @activeminds.wj .
Even ISA claimed Chaat & Chat to be a success and hearing students approval of how well they did helped them continue to bring more culture to W&J.
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