Being a school with a significant Indian-American community, Diwali at Jefferson is a bigger event than one might think. Some students chose to celebrate the Indian holiday on Nov. 3 with their immediate friends and family, while others host a holiday party to observe the occasion.
Diwali, a festival of lights, recognizes the return home of Rama, a hero of ancient India. According to legend, Rama defeated a great evil force and was revered amongst the people. Today to celebrate the holiday, it is customary to place lights outside the home to welcome the hero and his wife.
Some Jefferson students celebrate Diwali as a big event every year, by lighting candles and having a meal with family.
“For Diwali I dressed up in new clothes, and prayed with my family for good health and prosperity,” sophomore Shreya Bhatia said. “I also lighted diyas outside my house, and spent time with friends and family.”
Other students observe the holiday differently, just as students would celebrate a holiday like Christmas in different ways.
“This year we didn’t have time to do much,” sophomore Gayatri Pai said. “But we did put out lights.”
However, even though the basic traditions remain the same, Pai and her family celebrate Diwali to different extents each year.
“Sometimes we celebrate with other people. We always put lights outside, and make some sweets for the occasion,” Pai said.