Diwali, also known as Deepavali, comes from the Sanskrit word ‘dipavali’ meaning “line or sequence of lights”. Diwali is a festival that honors many interesting legends and their stories of struggle in the past. It is celebrated to welcome the return of a Lord Rama from the 14 years of exile in the forest and killing of the Demon King Ravana, thus bringing lamps and Diya signifies the end of darkness and opening the Gate of Wisdom. Gifts and sweets are exchanged during Diwali, as wish for a “Happy Diwali”. This is one of the biggest Indian festivals celebrated around the world, full of joy and happiness.
SRH Diwali 2019: Festival of Lights
SRH Hochschule Heidelberg is known for the biggest celebration of the Diwali Festival in city of Heidelberg for last 5 years. SRH is known for its diversity as students from all over the world are studying and learning about different cultures together. Celebrating the Diwali Festival is one of the steps toward bringing cultures together. Participants in the Dialiw Festival 2019 at SRH Hochschule Heidelberg were not only from India but many of international students and international office colleagues from different countries had shown their enthusiasm for the celebration by participating with full of energy. Not only Indian students, colleagues, and friends joined the festival but almost 90 percent of our international audience had Indian dress, which brought colours to this celebration.
We started off our Diwali Festival 2019 with the cultural tradition that is known as ‘Arti’ – burning fire sticks with the blessing from God. Along with that a short story of Ramayana was presented by Prof. Dr. Ajinkya Prabhune. Following this were cultural activities, like a fashion show to the introduce audience to the stunning variety of Indian dress, dances from different parts of India, and songs and instrumental music sets brought the happiness of the celebration to the international audience. It was a spectacular show in total, with lots of games and gifts to people for the audience.
Indians say ‘Without food, things always seem incomplete’. To bring the taste of India to the celebration, our organizational team served Indian food called ‘Biryani’, with curd salads along and Gulab Jamun (Indian dessert). At last, the finale was again this year by our Indian DJ team to bring all the people from diverse cultures together to dance to Indian beats. This was one of the biggest, brightest, and well-organized and events celebrated in past years.
A successful event is always an opportunity to thank our people, who showed their full support. The gratitude goes, of course, to our Diwali Festival 2019 Head Organizers Sahana Wukkadada and Vaibhav Deoghare, both in the International Business & Engineering, M.Eng at the university. They took on the responsibly of this momentous event and brought in many students and staff from different cultures. Planning an event with so many cultural backgrounds from different countries is not an easy task. Additionally, consideration for all the rituals of our diverse students from India must be given as this is a celebration for all our Indian students. Recognition and thanks is also given to the host of the evening, Roystan D’souza, also studying in the International Business & Engineering, M.Eng. programme at the university. He is a natural on stage and kept the audience entertained, while also keeping the many performers on schedule. Finally a big thank you to all the international performers, who took time away from their studies in order to make the evening more exciting, by giving a traditionally Indian event at the university an international flair!
Backbone of this event:
Thank you, Frau Bettina Pauley, Head of International Relations at SRH Hochschule Heidelberg, for providing all the resources needed by our team. She has been the backbone of support and encouragement for the Diwali Festivals at the university for many years. She always says ‘Learning and participating in different cultures is one of the lifetime experiences for students’ and her continuing support for this event has allowed it to grow and develop every year. Thank you also to, Frau Anja Loos and Frau Stephanie Farrar, from the International Office, for supporting our organisers and giving them trust.
By: Abhishek Gupta