Traditions Across Borders: Diwali at UWindsor
Diwali, the festival of lights, is around the corner and UWindsor students are finding ways to celebrate in Windsor.
“Being away from home on Diwali brings a bittersweet mixture of nostalgia and gratitude. It was always a great experience to cool off and spend time with your loved ones,” said Farhan Jawed Khan, the President of the Indian Student’s Association at UWindsor.
“Being a part of the ISA has been a great experience. Leading a team committed to celebrating and sharing our rich Indian heritage is a truly fulfilling experience. Our ‘Dezi Diwali’ event this Friday, November 10th, promises a night to be remembered. This event is delivering Diwali’s magic, away from home,” said Khan.
“I am super excited to attend this event and all my friends have already bought the tickets,” said Tanzil Kataria, a first-year student pursuing Psychology.
Many students who are not from India are also excited about this celebration.
“As a Bangladeshi, this is my first time celebrating Diwali, that too in a foreign land. I have made some amazing Indian friends who are in full Diwali spirits. To make Diwali as homely as possible for my friends, we are cooking Indian food, applying henna, decorating our dorms with lights, and dressing up in ethnic attires,” said Zara Rasheed, an international student at UWindsor.
Rasheed’s roommate, Kataria, is an international student from India who really misses celebrating Diwali with family.
“I have mixed emotions celebrating Diwali away from home for the first time as it was my favorite festival growing up. Back home, we would start Diwali shopping a month in advance and decorate our homes with lights. would miss my home, but I am also excited to celebrate it with the amazing friends that I made in Canada,” said Kataria.
Saveena Chawla is a Canadian Indian brought up in Chatham. She has different Diwali plans.
“My plan for Diwali is to go home and spend time with my family. No matter what the plan is, I always celebrate Diwali with my family, celebrating all the good things that I am thankful for. I enjoy the prayers, traditions, and quality time with my family,” said Chawla.
The Residence Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity committee is hosting a Diwali event on Sunday, November 12th.
“The REDI (Residents for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) committee is excited to host a small Diwali celebration for residents this year! Being away from your family and loved ones on Diwali can be difficult, so we want to create space for residents who want to be in community with each other in residence. There will be music, games, and activities. The event is open to all residents. Attendance for the event will be based on the room’s capacity, and there will be limitations on activities’ supplies available,” said Reha Purdasy, the Residence Life Coordinator at UWindsor.
The Diwali events run until next week including the Tamil Student Association (TSA) hosting a Diwali event on Saturday, November 18th.
“Being part of the TSA, our aim was to inculcate as many traditions as possible to make everyone feel welcome and at home, and giving people a great night of music and food makes everyone’s Diwali a little brighter,” said Laeya R.S., Vice-President Internal Affairs, TSA.