Diwali with the Association of Indian Students

July 24, 2017

Posted: November 19, 2015, 8:00am

On November 11, Indians worldwide celebrated Diwali – the Festival of Lights, the day that signifies the victory of light over darkness. In India, the festival is marked by prayers, firecrackers, lighting up houses, and well, lots of sweets. At USC, the celebrations were hosted by the Association of Indian Students (AIS) on November 15. The annual Diwali celebration at USC has consistently attracted some of the largest crowds among all on-campus events. This time, around 1000 guests were in attendance at Bovard Auditorium – the venue for the event.

Traditionally during Diwali, in every household, clay lamps with a cotton wick dipped in vegetable oil are lit. To mark this age old practice, electric lamps were placed around Tommy Trojan and Leavey Library, starting from the night of November 11. On the evening of the main event, the excitement among the crowds could be gauged from the fact that the queue for check-in extended from Bovard to Taper Hall on one side and from Bovard to Tommy Trojan on the other side, starting from as early as 5:30 pm. The Diwali celebration at USC consists of cultural performances by students and alumni followed by an Indian dinner, and the preparations begin at least a couple of months in advance. Auditions and dress rehearsals are scheduled, and the show timeline is fixed to the second. On the morning of the event, the final stage rehearsal takes place when the lighting, sound and other technical details are ironed out. For a show being organized at this scale, everything must work with clockwork precision.

The line-up of the performers for the evening included Bhangra, Kathak, Bharatnatyam and contemporary dancers, the popular improv comedy troupe – Vidushak, USC’s premier South Asian acapella team – Asli Baat, musical bands – Trojan Symphony and Resonance, and a few other solo dance and singing performances. The show lasted for about 3 hours followed by a three-course Indian dinner. The evening treated the audience to an amazing display of culture and talent; the Indian students and alumni relived some of their traditions from back home and the other international guests thoroughly enjoyed this small glimpse of India’s brightest and most spirited festival.

Published on July 24th, 2017

Last updated on August 10th, 2017