At Kellogg, we love celebrating our diversity. The Diwali party hosted by the India Business Club on Nov. 7 was truly reflective of this fact as the vibrant Kellogg community, decked out in their finest ethnic wear, got together to celebrate the Indian festival of lights — Diwali.
Deepawali or Diwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals and definitely the biggest and brightest of them. It is known as the festival of lights (“Deep” means “light” and “avali” means “a row,” therefore Deepwali means “a row of lights”) and is marked by four days of celebration. Each of the four days during the festival is separated by a different tradition, but what remains true and constant is the celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness.
Students across the various programs dressed up in beautiful sarees and kurtas and were welcomed inside the atrium with a “tilak” or “tika” (a small dot of red vermilion paste) applied to their forehead as a sign of good luck and auspicious beginnings. The atrium itself was completely transformed with colorful streamers and bright “diyas” (small lamps) running alongside each wall. The decorations could be summed up perfectly by an overheard comment from a student passing the atrium: “Feels like I am in India!” Most important was the sheer sense of celebration and joy that could be felt all around with everyone having finished midterms and excited about celebrating Diwali with their classmates.
An area that kept buzzing throughout the night was the Diwali photo booth with traditional Indian props such as bright turbans, pots, moustaches (Rajasthani style!) and much more. The booth ensured that people went home with some fun memories of the night. The event also included a henna studio where people could get traditional henna tattoos made by student volunteers, who did a brilliant job!
An hour into the event, the music got louder and the dance floor was set ablaze by people showcasing their Bollywood dancing skills. It was incredible to see many who were new to a saree pulling off dancing with the grace and elegance that would put regular saree-wearers to shame. Also inspiring were the always-cute Kellogg kids, who danced to popular tracks with their parents and other guests. The DJ played a good mix of songs and ensured that guests were reluctant to leave even after the party had almost wrapped up.
Devika Halbe (@devikahalbe) is a full-time MBA student at the Kellogg School of Management and is originally from India. In her spare time, she enjoys writing small articles and poems, and can often be found trying to Skype with her pet dog back in India.