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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Diwali celebration turns into a cultural confluence

The India Association at Texas A&M celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, through their annual event, DIA 2012, in the Wehner building Friday evening.
The event began with a Pooja, a prayer marking an auspicious beginning. Cultural performances such as a musical show, mono-acting and dances formed the highlights of the event. Attendees also sampled items of Indian cuisine for dinner.
For some of the participants, the event marked an important milestone as this would be their last semester at A&M with graduation just around the corner.
Performing in DIA was special for me this year because I am graduating this semester, said Soundarya Ramakrishnan, management information systems graduate student. It was fun, a well deserved time off from case studies and exams. The India Association team was very enthusiastic and helped in every way possible, from helping to rent instruments for the band to procuring lamps for our dance. And everybody’s effort paid off; the event was a great hit.
The event also became a confluence of different cultures with people from various nationalities participating in the celebrations.
There were Russians and Iranians dancing to hit Indian songs and matching the Indian students step for step. The highlight of the cultural performances was when a Russian child danced to a popular Indian song impromptu on the stage, which was met with rapturous applause by the audience.
People came dressed in their best cultural attires and the event was a myriad of vibrant colors.
It was very interesting to see beautiful traditional Indian costumes and see all the people having fun together, said Manyashina Galina, management information systems graduate exchange student from Russia. The atmosphere [at the event] was really warm and friendly. In Russia, we usually celebrate the New Year with our family and friends, but it is more common to meet with not more than 20 people in a party [on a] day. We also celebrate it just one day, on the 31st of December, in comparison to the Indian Diwali that lasts five days.
Approximately 300 people attended the event. Students patiently waited their turn in lines that formed in front of the food counters, eagerly looking forward to satiating their taste buds with authentic Indian food an opportunity that does not come often for students living far away from family and their native country.
Diwali celebrations seem incomplete without people around, said Shweta Rathi, management information systems graduate student and president of India Association. I would like to thank everyone who showed up on the day of the event, and the organizing members who made the grand success of the event a reality.

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