Diwali celebration brings students together from Cal Lutheran, UCLA and Pepperdine


Photo by Shariliz Poveda- Reporter

Shariliz Poveda, Reporter

On Friday, Oct. 25, California Lutheran University’s Club India and the Center for Global Engagement put together a Diwali celebration filled with dancing, games and lots of food.

Diwali for Hindus is the celebration of a myth called the Ramayana, said Kabir Seth, director of communications for Club India.

“Diwali is basically a celebration of [a hero] killing an evil demon,” Seth said.

Akul Verma, vice president of Club India, said Diwali is also celebrated by other cultures and religions. Each culture celebrates a different myth.

The club decorated the Student Union patio with colored lights and nonflammable candles. An Indian flag and an American flag hung in an area dedicated as a stage.

To start off the event, club officers thanked the crowd for coming and explained the significance of Diwali. They encouraged everyone to participate in a raffle and a game of musical chairs.

Noah Salem was one of the students who participated in the musical chair game which featured Indian music. Salem made it to the final rounds of both games of musical chairs, but was not able to win. Salem said he still had a “top notch” time.

“How many events do you go to that has musical chairs and good food?” Salem said. “It’s a good event, highly recommend it.”

Though Salem did not win in musical chairs, he did win a raffle prize at the end of the event. Salem said it was “karma” that earned him the shirt, since he had worked hard in the games.

Traditional Indian food was served to attendees, as club officers told them to take a seat to watch a variety of dance compilations. Dressed in colorful traditional garments, three woman dancers took turns dancing in front of the crowd, each giving a solo performance.

Sophomore Sejal Thapa was one of the dancers. Thapa said even though she is Nepali, not Indian, she is still a member of Club India.

Thapa said she joined Club India because of the similarities between the two cultures. She said she has been dancing Bollywood “forever.” 

Thapa mixed a song from Nepal into the medley of music she danced to.

“I’m glad I could put in one Nepali song,” Thapa said. “So I know for a fact that all the Indians could tell that was not their song, so they would probably…get an idea that I was not from [India] but that I was still appreciating their culture.”

President of Club India Navjot Kaur was another dancer at Diwali. She is an international student, and a dancer back in India. She said she had organized events at her previous university.  

Kaur said she felt this event went great. She said she initially felt stressed, as this was her first event as president.

Kaur said she contacted Indian clubs at other universities to come together for this cultural event. In the future, she hopes universities can continue to collaborate for large scale events.

“Everybody helped me a lot, people came through all the way from Pepperdine University [and] UCLA,” Kaur said. “That’s like a big hit to me.”

After raffle prizes were given out, students were encouraged to get more food, mingle with one another and take photos in front of a backdrop that read “Happy Diwali”.