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Celebrating Diwali at University of Surrey

This blog was written by Juhi, a Business student at the University of Surrey

The word Diwali loosely translates to a “row of lights” which is why many households decide to lighten up with many candles and lights. A shining bright festival which honours the good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness. A festival where the package deal is spreading abundant love with sweets and showering your loved ones with gifts (plenty of both)! But more importantly, this time of the year marks a very important one for many Hindus, Sikhs & Jains for many reasons.

This year Diwali was very different for myself and many other students who were not able to go home and celebrate with their families. However, I did manage to find some traditional Indian sweets and share these with my friends. We also attended the virtual worship session hosted by ISA society (Indian Student Association). A couple of days later, the society offered Indian food outside the AP Piazza, it was delicious! In a typical year, ISA would host an event at Rubix (the night club) – this is where all students are welcomed to come together and celebrate the joyous festival, wearing traditional clothing.

Here are some pictures to show how Diwali has been celebrated in the past years:

Set up for the prayer day – this is where you worship Lord Ganesh and Goddess Laxmi
Indian traditional wear – traditionally boys wear a Sherwani
Students attending prayer at the Quiet Centre on campus

The dhol is an instrument, known as a double-barrel drum, played with wooden sticks

Despite it being a different way Diwali is being celebrated, there is so much one can do. Here is a list of the things I did 😊

Rangoli’s are colourful patterns on the floor using a mix of materials such as sand, flower petals, rice flour, lentils and beans, is what forms a Rangoli — one of the most beautiful Indian folk arts. Traditionally, Rangoli is an art of decoration drawn on the floor or the entrances of homes

Here are some of my favourite Rangoli patterns:

This was made by Ritzy Nanda, a final year University of Surrey student

So, with all the food feast and the warm decor, I also set time aside to indulge into some spiritual practice. Regardless of your background I strongly feel this good exercise since it acts like a reflection moment in your hectic day and more importantly it sets your vision into the gratitude attitude. These are just few ways I stay in touch with my faith whilst at university.

Wishing you all a very belated Happy Diwali and may this year come with loads of good health and wealth for your family, friends and yourself and may you always prosper!