On Monday, November 4, Religion and Philosophy club sponsored Diwali, a Hindu holiday known as the celebration of lights. The club held the event in Renner Art Gallery at 7:30 pm for awareness about Hinduism while at the same time, serving as a connections course for freshmen.

Religion professors Holly Hillgardner and Brooke Deal brought in Christmas lights to light up the entire room and food that is normally enjoyed in various parts of the world where Diwali is celebrated. Chai tea was served along with some pumpkin flavored sweets, pastries, and candy.  Catherine Marshall and I greeted everyone by saying “Namaste,” which is a salutation that originated in India, who came at the door in colorful saris-or sarees- that are native Indian attire that is usually between four to nine yards of cloth and brightly colored.

Noelle Wright, Erika Hawkins, and Moto Albert presented different deities that are celebrated as well as history about the holiday. After they spoke, a video was shown from India of families sharing baked goods with neighbors, buying fabric for saris, and watching fireworks during the night. Students there for the Worldly Connections course were given a sheet to fill out and a page to color in as a bigger signifier of the celebration of colors. Cristal Caldera-King also attended and helped out by giving those who wanted one, Henna tattoos. 

To conclude the evening, Marshall, Hawkins, and I gave out sparklers to those who stayed the entire time. We proceeded outside and lit the sparklers in site, ensuring that nobody took sparklers back to their rooms or other buildings. Students gave a lot of positive feedback about the food and presentations that were given and there was a very good attendance of faculty as well. Religion and Philosophy club will be having more events in the future that Re-Phil members hope will be just as successful as Diwali.


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