Celebrated every fall in Hindu cultures, the festival of lights, or Diwali, projects the rich history of India and brings joy and happiness to the coming year. The India Association, an Indian student organization at the University of Missouri-Rolla, will bring the festival to campus for its annual Diwali Night cultural show and dinner Nov. 13.
The Diwali Night 2005 cultural show, “Quintessential India,” will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, in Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall, 10th and Main streets in Rolla. The show is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and will be available beginning Nov. 1 at the Leach Theatre Box Office.
A fireworks display sponsored by the UMR India Association will begin at 7:15 p.m. outside the Materials Research Center.
Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the victorious return of Lord Rama to his kingdom. His subjects lit lamps – or “diyas” – in their houses to celebrate the event, and the tradition of lighting diyas on Diwali remains to this day. The show will feature several performances by Indian students that provide insight into the unity of diversity in India, focusing on the many different cultures that can be found in the country. There will be traditional Indian dances and a fashion show in an attempt to provide a glimpse of Indian culture.
In addition to the Indian cultural showcase, the celebration will also feature authentic Indian cuisine. At 7 p.m. the celebration will move to the Havener Center on the UMR campus, where an authentic Indian dinner will be served. Tickets for the dinner will be available on Nov. 3-4 and Nov. 7-8 at the Havener Center. Dinner tickets will also be on sale on those days from noon to 2 p.m. in front of UMR’s Curtis Laws Wilson Library.
The celebrations will continue after dinner. A fireworks display by the UMR India Association will begin at 7:15 p.m. outside the Materials Research Center (and the Engineering Research Laboratory parking lot).