Living away from home (8300 miles to be exact) is extremely hard, especially when I’m missing festivities and celebrations. The month of October is full of Indian festivals. The biggest festival of all is Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. It is celebrated by communities throughout India in many different ways. The entire country lights oil lamps, feasts on authentic Indian food and sweets, and sets off firecrackers. The festival marks the victory of good over evil and is a time to worship goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
The purpose of Diwali is to unite families and communities. Since this was my first Diwali away from home, I felt homesick. To bring a little taste of home to New York City, LIM gave the Graduate Activities and Programming Board (GAP) the opportunity to organize a beautiful festival in Maxwell Hall. We decorated the hall with lights, ate delicious, authentic Indian food, and had an “aarti,” which is offering of prayers to the goddess. There was a moment when I forgot I was in New York City and I actually felt like I was back home in India. The celebration was complete with music, friends and henna!
It’s so amazing how everyone in the LIM community, no matter their ethnic/cultural background, is always excited and willing to celebrate different festivals and traditions. In such a diverse school, there is togetherness, a sense of community, and that’s why LIM College is my home away from home.