Festival of Lights in the courtyard

AAC member Sharan Minhas, a junior, colors in a peacock design for her group’s rangoli art.


            Diwali, South Asia’s biggest and most important holiday of the year, is a festival of lights where friends and family come together to celebrate the victory of light over darkness. The Asian American Club organized a festival after school where members of the club, along with friends gathered in the courtyard to listen to cultural music and partake in activities related to the holiday after school on October 27. 

            The AAC promoted the holiday and educated people about Diwali to spread awareness of their culture and bring about diversity in the student body. “My friends from AAC asked me to join them in the event, and I thought it was interesting to learn about their culture and it was really fun learning about and trying out the rangoli,” said Julia Mele.  

            Diwali is a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism. The festival was an event that was free of charge and open to the whole student body. Mele added, “I felt like Asian American club was very inviting and inclusive, even though I’m not from their heritage.” 

Faculty advisors of the Asian American Club, Shanman Liao and Priyam Tiwari work on their own rangoli design.

            Students who attended the event decorated the courtyard floor with colorful rangoli art. “Students who celebrate the holiday taught others about Rangoli, a tradition in which patterns are created on the floor using colored sand,” explained Ashley Chan, President of AAC “We did this by using chalk to do rangoli in the courtyard.” 

            Rangoli is an art decoration typically made at the entrance of homes that welcomes Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and good luck, along with guests that come over for the holiday. “My favorite part of the Diwali Festival was making rangoli designs with my friends,” Sharan Minhas, a member of AAC, said. “I thought it was really fun to do an activity from my culture with all of my friends and educate them about our holiday.”  

Junior Julia Mele uses chalk to blend colors together on her rangoli art featuring a flower design.

            While Diwali is a religious festival, it also marks the beginning of a new year for many South Asian countries, such as India and Nepal. The holiday spreads awareness of the triumph of good over evil. “To me, the importance of Diwali is not only to celebrate the Indian New Year, but instead is to spread goodness over evil,” said Riya Savalia, Vice President of AAC. “It’s a reminder to come clean our bad desires and recollect our morals. It’s a time to rethink your lifestyle and strengthen our goodwill.”  

            More successful events like this one are already in the making for Asian American Club. “AAC just had the rice festival, which was a fun event where different Asian heritages shared their different types of rice,” said Samee Chandra, member of AAC. We’re currently planning more events related to culture, such as Holi and the Mock Shaadi.”   

            If you didn’t attend this event, be sure to check out the next amazing events that Asian American Club has in store for OBHS! 

Posted on 12/5/22 

Photos by Ritee Karmacharya

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