SHU Community Lights the Night with Diwali Fest
The University Commons at Sacred Heart University’s main campus was awash with wonderful sights, sounds and aromas on November 5 as SHU celebrated its third annual Diwali Fest, or Festival of Lights.
The event, which has its roots in Hinduism, marks the triumph of good over evil, according to graduate student Harshal Varpe, who was the chief organizer and emcee of SHU’s celebration. In India, Diwali is marked with tributes to Lakshmi (the Hindu goddess of wealth), gifts, food, sweets and family visits, Varpe noted.
Sacred Heart’s version offered lights, traditional and hip-hop dancing, a fashion show, Indian cuisine from Paradise Biryani of Orange, flute-playing, a selfie photo area, video presentation and a Rangoli flower display. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff attended the joyous occasion.
“We have all religions at this institution and celebrate each one,” said Kathy Dilks, SHU’s director of Graduate, International & Veterans Student Affairs, part of the University’s student life sector. “The goal is to show that Sacred Heart appreciates every nation. Other festivals have included Saudi National Day and Lunar New Year.”
Dilks said SHU’s event also aligns with International Education Week, which will take place Nov. 14-18 this year. The Office of Global Affairs, along with several other offices and departments at SHU including the Office of Graduate, International & Veterans Student Affairs, organizes the IEW to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide, she said.