Syracuse University Students help with preparations for Diwali

REL185 students preparing luminaries. Photo by Aarti Patel.

REL185 students preparing luminaries. Photo by Aarti Patel.

October 25, 2017

On October 19 students in Watson Professor Ann Grodzins Gold’s REL185 Hinduism course assembled luminaries (battery-operated votives surrounded by sand in a recyclable paper bag) in order to assist Professor Romita Ray (Department of Art and Music Histories) in the Department of Art and Music Histories preparations for Diwali (the Hindu Festival of Lights). The Festival of Lights took place today in the Sculpture Garden on the quad. The luminaries illuminated the sculpture garden from 5:00pm to 10:0pm.

Since 2015, Professor Ray has helped Syracuse University celebrate Diwali highlighting a living tradition with a history stretching back for over five thousand years. Celebrating Diwali at Syracuse is important not only for Hindu students and students of South Asian heritage but also for everyone to get a chance to participate in a celebration of art and culture of the need to bring light to everything especially as the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer.

Carol Babiracki, associate professor of music history and cultures and director of the South Asia Center, points out that Diwali is “… that idea of bringing light to everything,” she said. “It’s happening at a time when the days are getting shorter, so it’s a reminder that that even in the darkness, there will be light.”

This year the festival is co-sponsored by the South Asia Center and Hendricks Chapel.

For more information see: “Syracuse University students and faculty to light up Sculpture Garden for Diwali celebration” by Divya Murthy of the Daily Orange.

A photo by Nazla Mariza showing the luminaries setup in the sculpture garden.

Diwali photo by Nazla Mariza