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Diwali Festival Lights Up Jasmine with Traditional Indian Menu and Cultural Performances

Diwali Festival

STONY BROOK, NY, November 5, 2014 – In celebration of Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, The Center for India Studies, the Faculty Student Association (FSA) and Campus Dining will host an authentic celebration in collaboration with Chapin Apartments Residence Association (CARA) at Jasmine in the Charles B. Wang Center on November 5, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

Diwali is a national holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Guyana, and many other countries. It is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated by families with traditional activities performed together in their homes. Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. Celebrants wear new clothes through the festival and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.

“Diwali is the most popular festival in India and at Stony Brook University, there is a tradition of hundreds of students, faculty and staff joining in a puja ceremony at the Wang Center and then taking a spectacular winding procession of battery operated candles outdoors before the feast and celebration at Jasmine,” says Dr. S. N. Sridhar, a Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the Center for India Studies at Stony Brook University.

To make Stony Brook’s event a genuine representation of Diwali, guests will be able to participate in the tradition of devotional worship of the Lakshmi, the Indian Goddess of wealth and prosperity, at the Wang Center Chapel, followed by a tea light (Diya) procession.

After the light procession, Curry Kitchen at Jasmine will prepare a delicious traditional vegetarian dinner including two appetizers, six entrees, two desserts and beverages. For many Indians, Diwali is a meatless holiday. The food is vegetarian, as nonviolence (ahimsa) is a principles of major Indian religions and by not killing an animal to the make the meal, is considered pure. Guests will also be able to enjoy performances by “The Sultan of Good Vibes” DJ Rich Fantasia and SBU Taandava, an Indian Classical dance team.

“All in all, it’s a most joyous celebration that the entire campus community can enjoy,” commented Dr. Sridhar.

Traditional Indian sweet boxes called “mithai”, another important aspect of Diwali, are given to friends and loved ones as a token of holiday wishes and friendship. Sweet boxes include varieties such as fudge-like Barfi, moist Bundi Ladoo and Kesar/Plain Peda will also be sold at the event.

All are welcome to attend the event and celebrate one of India’s most exciting holidays!

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