Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘Good over evil’: Office of Diversity and Inclusion celebrates Diwali

Mel Bright
Diwali is a holiday that is celebrated on the darkest day of the year, and it usually lasts for five days. One origin of this holiday is to celebrate Lord Krishna’s destruction of the demon Naraka. This holiday symbolized the victory of light over darkness.

Students gathered in the Rhatigan Student Center on Nov. 14 to celebrate Diwali, an Indian holiday that celebrates good over evil. 

According to National Geographic, Diwali, the five-day festival of lights, is celebrated among more than a billion people of different religions, including Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. Each religion has a different origin for Diwali; within Hinduism, there are also several versions. All share the same theme of good over evil.

Master’s student Alekhya Bayana described what Diwali is to her. 

“We celebrate Krishna (a deity in Hinduism), who was victorious in killing a demon,” Bayana said. “After he killed him, we went into the light, so we celebrated Diwali.” 

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) hosted the Diwali celebration. Dhirsty Hossain, the student program coordinator for ODI, created this event to celebrate Indian culture. 

“Diwali is usually celebrated on the darkest day of the year, and what they do is light a whole bunch of candles,” Hossain said. “Sometimes there will be pathways of candles to their home to guide their god(dess) Lakshmi into their home to bring prosperity, so it’s kind of just a celebration for them to acknowledge good over evil.”

Hossain said, that with the international student population growing at Wichita State, events like this are crucial.

“A lot of international students come from India or countries that are nearby,” Hossain said. “This event is my way of bringing in something from home for them.”

Graduate student Demy Alexander also said holiday celebrations like these help him meet new people.

Attendees received goodie bags at the ODI event. These goodie bags had notes, explaining what Diwali is and fun facts about the holiday.

Nirasha Kavindi said she came to learn more about Diwali “to see how Americans represented Indian holidays and how they celebrate it.”

Both Kavindi and Alexander encourage students to come to cultural events, even if they aren’t part of that culture.

Hossain said events like this make a difference for international students.

“We appreciate them, and we see them, and we want them to feel welcome on campus,” Hossain said.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Mel Bright
Mel Bright, Former reporter
Mel Bright was a reporter and photographer for The Sunflower. When Bright is not in school, they loves to dance, act and they do photography on the side for fun. Bright uses they/them pronouns.

Comments (0)

All The Sunflower Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *