Seeing the light

Ferris students celebrate India's New Year

Ferris students celebrate Indian New Year.
Ferris students celebrate Indian New Year.  
Students and guests at Ferris were able to celebrate Diwali with students from India on Friday.

“Diwali, The Festival of Lights, is a celebration for a beginning of a new year in India,” President of the International Student Organization (ISO) Hassan Altkroni said. “It’s commemorates the victory of the forces of lights over the forces of darkness.”

In India, the forces of light represent knowledge while the forces of darkness represent ignorance. It spiritually signifies the victory of good over evil and hope over despair.

Diwali is a way for students from India to share their culture with their peers at Ferris, which is what ISO’s mission is.

“The ISO is trying to bring diverse cultures to Ferris campus,” Altkroni said. “In this time of year, Diwali is happening in India and celebrating Diwali here on campus will let the Indian students share their culture with anyone who attends.”

The event began with a PowerPoint that explained the meaning of Diwali and what India does to celebrate.

After the PowerPoint, students from India participated in a dance that symbolized the light defeating the darkness. After a couple of minutes, the dancers pulled some students out of the crowd and had them dance alongside each other.

“It was unexpected and surprising,” sophomore Shawn White said. “But it was fun. I’m glad I participated in the dance.”

Diwali is celebrated for five days in India. Families get together, dance, exchange gifts and participate in Rangoli.

Rangoli is a folk art in which people in India decorate their doorsteps with beautiful designs that welcome guests to their home. People use materials such as colored rice, dry flour, sand, and flower pedals to make the designs.

Guests at the event were able to sign up and participate in a group activity that involved creating their own Rangoli symbols.

“Making the Rangoli was fun,” White said. “It was very artistic. It’s a different art form than what I’m used to. It’s way better than chalk.”

The majority of students who showed up enjoyed the show and the introduction to Indian culture.

“The event was really nice,” senior Jessica Shepard said. “I liked the Rangoli and dances. It was very educational learning about the Indian culture.”

Students were able to get a glimpse into a new culture and participate in the many activities that were held there.

Students were able to get a glimpse into a new culture and participate in the many events that were held there.