Students Celebrate Diwali by Dressing in Traditional Clothing

Devika Patel, Heritage Portraits & Ads Editor

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Students celebrate their cultural heritage and dress up in traditional Indian clothing.

The halls are filled with students wearing traditional Indian clothing, as they dress up for the most well known Indian holiday: Diwali, sometimes referred to as Deepavali or “the festival of lights.” It’s celebrated throughout all of India, as a major event of the year.

To most, the celebration marks the triumph of good over evil. Families will perform pujas (prayer to deities), clean their homes, wear new clothing, give sweets to friends and family, set off fireworks and decorate their homes. Many homes may be decorated with electric lights, or even small clay oil lamps outside of their houses. The lights symbolize the good which families hope will enter their homes in the coming new year.

People in different regions of India celebrate the holiday on different days, in their own unique ways because traditional lunar calendars are interpreted differently in each part of India. For this reason you may see some students dress up today and others tomorrow.

Dressing up for Diwali is something that Indian students have done in past years and are continuing the traditions this year too.

“Last year, I dressed up on Diwali because my mom told me too, but when I saw everyone else dress up in Indian clothes, it kind of felt like I was a part of something,” Hamsini Nathan ‘18 said. “I really love showing my Indian culture to my classmates, and celebrating the holiday with my friends.”

This tradition has now spread to others who don’t follow the Hindu religion as well. More and more students are celebrating the holiday and some are even borrowing traditional clothing from their friends.

“Last year my friend told me she had an extra outfit that I could borrow for the day, so I decided to dress up and celebrate,” Jessie Park ‘18 said. “It was so fun to learn about a different cultural tradition and be a part of it, and continued it this year as well.”

Dressing up at school serves as a fun way to share and represent Indian culture.

“I have been dressing up throughout my high school years and I really love doing it,” Pragati Kore ‘16 said. “I’m glad that I can really celebrate my culture outside of my home and bring it into my school life.”