All members of the University of Rhode Island community and the general public are invited to come celebrate the Hindu festival of the lights this Saturday, Nov. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the URI Memorial Union Ballroom. This is when and where URI’s Indian Student Association (ISA) is hosting their annual Diwali event.

Students are encouraged to bring their friends and family for “a wonderful evening,” said ISA’s President, Azeri Desai.

It’s an event for all ages and will be “featuring Bollywood performances, live music, guest performances, Indian cuisine, henna booth, an appearance by Rhody the Ram and so much more,” Desai said.

Diwali is the Hindu festival of the lights. It’s celebrated every Autumn in the northern hemisphere. Diwali is “One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism,” Desai said. “It spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.”

It’s going to be a fun evening to embrace and learn all about the Indian culture for all those who attend. There will be Indian cuisine at this event as well. There is no fee to attend the event but if you wish to try any of the Indian cuisine the prices do vary.

It costs $5 for URI students (with URI ID), $8 for URI staff (with URI ID), and $10 for non-URI guests. Also, creative Henna designs will be starting at $3.

As the club’s president, Desai took charge in organizing the majority of the event with assistance from other club members.

Since it was a new team on the board this year in ISA “I almost took charge of everything with the help of my team members and delegate some duties to everyone. I mostly took charge of the food, promotions and overall organizing the event,” Desai said.

Other people such as the ISA team members, Sheri Davis, dining services, H3O productions along with other various colleges and organizations have helped to prepare for this event as well.

This event is a fundraiser for the ISA club. It’s also not the first year that the ISA has put on this event. It’s believed that ISA “have been celebrating it here for over a decade now,” Desai said. Desai and her fellow club members take time to fundraise for their club by putting on events and asking other organizations and colleges for donations or sponsorships.

Organizations and clubs such as “OISS, Student affairs diversity funds, college of Pharmacy, college of engineering, CBA GAU and graduate school,” said Desai, have contributed so far.

From Rhody the Ram to Bollywood performances with a henna booth, Indian cuisine and live music in between, it seems like this will be an event that most people won’t want to miss out on.

“The part of the Diwali event that I’m looking forward to the most is the performances,” Desai said. “It takes in a lot of efforts in preparing them to be it from the choreographer or the dancers. It’s a lot of hard work which pays off only when the audience like it and enjoy it.”

If any of these events interest you, feel free to join the ISA club this Saturday night in celebrating Diwali, the festival of the lights.


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