This week, people around the world will celebrate Diwali. Master’s student Vishruth Krishnan explains the festival and how you can celebrate right here in Delft.
“Diwali is celebrated for slightly different reasons across the country of India. There is no single meaning as to why it’s celebrated or how it’s celebrated. For most, it’s based on the story of the return of Lord Ram back to his own city after a 14-year exile. That’s the mythology behind it. But the general idea is that it’s about the victory of good over evil, the victory of light over dark. That’s why we have our houses and streets brightly lit up back home and there’s a big festive atmosphere.
We also have a lot of fireworks that go on throughout the night. I think almost everyone gets a week off for this holiday so families come together, schools close, universities close, offices close. It’s like the majority of the country is in a holiday mood. In terms of the reach and the number of people who celebrate, it’s one of the biggest holidays in India.
‘It’s a nice opportunity to share our culture’
At the end of the day, Diwali does stem from religion, but I think in contemporary India people are a little less worried about what it really stands for. It’s more about the coming together of families and eating good food and those kinds of things.
This year the holiday falls on 6 November in the south of India and 7 November in the north. This is right in the middle of exams for everyone here at Delft so we pushed our celebration to 23 November. We will probably host around 200 to 300 people. We booked a hall at X (Sports & Culture) and we are doing it in association with them.
There will be food, music and entertainment. Of course, it won’t be exactly like we do things back in India but we will try to create a nice and friendly atmosphere. The event itself is free and we will be selling tickets for food leading up to the event so we know how much to prepare.
We’ve seen a trend over the past few years of more international students coming to this event. I think Indian students are interested in showing people what Diwali is all about. It’s a nice opportunity for people from diverse cultures and nationalities to come together and for us to share our culture with them.”
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