UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Diwali Week 2006

The India Club is holding a Diwali Week on the UMass Boston campus to spread the holiday to those who observe it and those who are interested. Diwali is a five-day celebration in the Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist religions and is one of their most-awaited holidays.

“Imagine it is Christmas and no one wishes you a Merry Christmas – it’s a little sad and disheartening,” India Club member Purnima Kompella said. “For Indian students at UMass, especially new international students, not being wished and not celebrating Diwali is a sudden change from celebrating it with fireworks and other festivities. Furthermore, UMass Boston having such a huge Indian population deems it necessary for such events so that the entire student body shares the joy and excitement of Diwali.”

Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is known as the “Festival of Lights,” with certain regions in India associating fireworks with the main celebration. The holiday takes place in the Hindu month of Ashwayuja, which falls between October and November.

The day of Diwali falls on Oct. 21st this year, and the events on the UMass Boston campus marking this holiday will take place Oct. 17th through the 20th.

Events on the 17 and 18 will be held on the terrace between noon and 4 p.m. The main event on the 20 will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with an after party from 9 p.m. to midnight. Two movies, Lage Raho Munnabhai, a comedy and Rang De Basanti, a 2006 Oscar-nominated film, will be shown from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on either the 18 or 19, depending on the location.

To cover the costs of the events, and to make sure that every member of the UMass Boston family and their friends and family can attend, there are several groups sponsoring the activities.

“Indian Students Association, A Face of India, MITR, a graduate club, Black Student Center, Non-Aligned Club, Armenian Students Association and the Asian Center are all sponsoring the event,” Kompella said. “This event is also sponsored by the Undergraduate Student Senate and Graduate Student Senate, so we have the opportunity to offer this great event free of charge.”

With no cost to attend, Diwali Week will be enjoyable for all of those who go, regardless of heritage or affiliation.

“We want people to better understand, learn, and enjoy Indian culture,” Kompella said. “The programs prepared for this week of celebrations ensures people can somewhat have a feeling for the most important aspects of our culture. Many different cultures come together, while preserving their own uniqueness, to form the Indian Culture; we want to share this with the UMB community and a celebration of this magnitude will allow us to do so.”

Planning to have a few hundred people for each event, Kompella and the India Club look forward to being able to share their culture each year.

“This is the first of such events at UMB that we hope will become an annual event,” Kompella said. “This week of celebrations will be huge; be prepared to savor the unique tastes of our Indian Cuisine, to enjoy our delightful Bollywood films and to party with Indian Music. Hope to see you there!”

Anyone looking for more information can contact Kompella by email at [email protected], email the club at [email protected] and those with Facebook can check out the event under “Diwali Night 2006.”