South Asian Students Association celebrates Diwali, festival of lights
Twinkling lights and the smell of curry and honey surrounded students as they danced the night away at the Diwali Ball on Thursday, Nov. 9.
The festive dance was held by the South Asian Student Association. The event held in the Viking Union Multi-Purpose Room was filled with the culture of South Asian countries with music, live performances and food.
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year, said the club’s president Sanskruti Kuravalli.
“To a lot of states in India, it’s considered a new year. It’s a very big occasion and all over India it’s a very popular festival,” Kuravalli said. “Since SASA hasn’t had many events in the past, we wanted to bring this out. We really wanted to celebrate this festival and spread the word out to the community of what this culture is and what this event is about.”
The ball also doubled as a heritage dinner. The event offered samosas, a savory fried pastry with potatoes and peas, gulab jamun, a fried dough pastry soaked in honey, and chai tea to wash it all down.
Senior Kelsy Khansila was first introduced to the club with a heritage dinner they put on two years ago.
“That was the first heritage dinner that I’ve ever been to,” Khansila said.
Several of the club’s members performed a dance on stage that drew a crowd and led the other students watching to the dancefloor afterwards. Lights flashed, dance circles formed as students immersed themselves in the culture of the event.
“It’s free so people want to come, because I know a lot of times money is a constraint, especially for college students,” Kuravalli said.
The club hopes to raise awareness about South Asian cultures and educate those on campus and around the Bellingham community. Students are encouraged to explore and experience the culture. The club hopes to continue to host annual events and discussion panels through the year to get students involved and interacting, according to Kurvalli and the club’s website.
Around 70 students from different clubs and ethnic backgrounds attended the event.