Today’s the third day of the five-days celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights. South Asian friends in ISS held a celebration in the campus’s atrium and everyone’s invited!

Lighting up the candles

Some friends came to know better about the South Asian culture, some others came for the free food offered, but most came for both (like me). It was a good decision to come because it was great!

Vineet explaining the story

Vineet of India, from the previous batch of MA students, briefly told us about the story behind the biggest annual celebration in South Asia (and most South Asians around the world). Diwali, sometimes also called Deepavali, is said to be stemmed from some ancient legends.

One of them is on this day, Lakshmi emerged from Kshira Sagar, the Ocean of Milk, during the great churning of the oceans, Samudra manthan. (I swiftly remembered that in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, one of the most famous relief was about churning of the ocean of milk — but it was under restoration when I came there several years ago)

Another legend is that on Diwali, Rama, Sita (or Shinta in Indonesian’s rendering of Ramayana), and Lakshmana return to Ayodya after defeating Ravana — who is actually a hero, not a villain, for some Sri Lankans.

But from a developmental point of view, he said, it’s stemmed from the agrarian society practices: it marks the first day of the harvest. What a proper point to be said in an institute that offers courses in Development Studies like ISS, hahaha.

Anyway the food was amazing! We had samosa (too spicy for some people), yellow rice (with saffron?), vegetable curry (too hot for some), an Indian version of salad, papadum, an a sweet rice ball. Delicious!

Thumbs up for those who prepared it really well, it was truly the best way to boost up the spirit towards the exam.. 😀

Deepavali ki Shubhkamnayein! Tuhanu diwali diyan boht boht vadhaiyan hon! Deepavali Nalvaazhtukkal! Deepavali Aashamsagal! Deepavali Habbada Shubhashayagalu! Deepavali Shubhakankshalu! Shubh Deepavali! Subho Deepavalir Preeti O Subeccha! Happy Diwali 🙂

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