The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Indian Student Association celebrates Hindu New Year with Diwali festivities

The Indian Student Association celebrated Diwali, the festivalof lights, and the Hindu New Year on Saturday at SMU.

The celebration of Diwali 2003, “Sunhare Sitare ChamaktaChand”, took place in the Ballroom of the Hughes-TriggStudent Center complete with traditional costumes, dancing andauthentic foods.

Diwali is the most extravagant show that ISA hosts during thefall semester each year.

This event has great significant to some SMU students.

“It’s like Christmas for Hindus” ISA presidentHitesh “BK” Patel said. 

The show began with a comedic act presented by emcees ShilpaGandhi and Ali Rahman.

They satired the strict rules presented by some members of theirculture, such as the difficulty of asking parents permission beforedating.

The opening act left the room pitch black while 12 women walkedin carrying lights in the palm of their hands.  The Diya dancewas an elaborate display to help celebrate the joy of the festivalof lights.

Each of the 12 women wore a unique traditional dress calledshalwar kameez.

The show presented different styles of South Asian dance musicfrom Bhangra.

This style was showcased this summer by Punjabi MC with his hitsong, “Mundian To Bach Ke,” featuring rap artist Jay-Z.Bharatnatyam is more classical and presents a ballet-like stylethat focuses on proper composition and form.

Ishq Samundar displayed a rhythmic dance performed by SalimaPremiji and Anu Cherian. Their dance featured more modern movementsand choreography. 

“I wouldn’t have expected them to dance like that.It integrated a lot of South Asian and American moves,”sophomore real-estate finance major David Oden said.

The fashion show was also a highlight. The show presented anelaborate display of traditional and modern dresses worn by 27members of the ISA organization.

The cost of these costumes, provided by Shree Boutique, rangedfrom $300 to $1,300.

“It’s expensive because they are customized with alot of detail and artistic jewel designs,” first-year pre-medmajor Arisha Patel said.

The whole idea behind the event is to educate the SMUcommunity.

“We are trying to avoid the sterotypes like Apu of”The Simpsons,” and show what our culture really has tooffer,” Hitesh Patel said.

Diwali means a lot of things to a lot people, and since ISA is anon-denominational organization, they focus more on showcasing thedifferent styles of dance music and the talents of the South Asianculture.

Diwali is a five-day Hindu festival which occurs on the 15th dayof Kartika. Diwali means “row of lighted lamps” and thecelebration is often referred to as the “Festival ofLights.”

During this time, homes are thoroughly cleaned and windows areopened to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

Candles and lamps are lit as a greeting to Lakshmi. Gifts areexchanged and festive meals are prepared during Diwali.

Because there are many regions encompassed within the Indiansubcontinent, there are many manifestations of the Diwalifestival.

The major religions in the region include Hindu, Islam, Buddhismand Christianity.

The ISA Diwali show emphasizes a celebration that includeseveryone and serves as a showcase for all of these differentcultures.

“We don’t want to exclude anyone for ourorganization. We are trying to bridge the gap in ourcommunity,” ISA treasurer Anish Tailor said.

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