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South Asian Student Association hosts Diwali

South Asian Student Association hosts Diwali

Photo Courtesy of Letisha Dass

The South Asian Student Association (SASA), in coordination with the Hofstra University Honors College and Hofstra Indian Students Association, hosted a celebration honoring Diwali, the Hindu holiday of lights.

“This is the South Asian Student Association’s biggest event of the year,” said Nina Bangalore, president of SASA and a senior film studies and production major.  

Diwali is a celebration of good conquering evil and the transition from darkness to light. The official holiday was held on Wednesday, Nov. 7, but the on-campus celebration took place two days later on Friday, Nov. 9. 

“We were very fortunate to celebrate it so close [to the actual date],” Bangalore said. 

SASA began the celebration with a dance by a member of Hofstra’s Bollywood, Giddha and Banghra dance group. After the performance, the night’s organizers were introduced and Diwali was explained to those in attendance.

“This is basically a dance event. We usually do dance events where we have food, dancing and music,” Bangalore said. These are “our main three things that we incorporate to show the South Asian culture.”  

After the opening of the dance floor, a buffet was open to guests. Traditional foods such as butter chicken, naan, paneer makhana, dal, pakoras, ras malai and gulab jamun were served. The food was catered by Diwan, an Indian restaurant on Long Island. 

“It’s good for students to finally connect with their culture in [white] areas like this,” said Simran “Sam” Padam, a senior information systems major. “I think it’s great because it’s run by an association that is run by students from South Asia.” 

Chandler Smith, a senior English major, attended the event last year and was excited to return. Smith enjoyed the experience of participating in another culture. “We love it. The food is great, and the dancing looks really fun,” Smith said. 

“I think it is good that they made it open to everyone,” said Rachel Ferro, a senior religion major.

Anushriya Mangal, a graduate student, felt a close relation to her home country of India during the event. “It’s nicely close to home ... the dancing and the food and the music,” Mangal said. “Everyone is dressed nice and traditional. I’m glad that I came out.” 

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