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Diwali celebrates treasures of India

November 03, 2009 12:00AM

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Nishjeet Kaur, an MBA student from India, decorates a student's hand with a henna tattoo Tuesday on the Oval.

A festival presented by one of Pittsburg State University's largest international student groups will attract hundreds of community members to share in their culture this weekend.

Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights, will be presented by the Indian Student Association from 4:30-8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8, at Parrott Bey (408 N. Locust) in Pittsburg

A colorful extravaganza of lights, food, music, and dancing, Diwali is a significant Indian holiday that is celebrated in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. The ISA's presentation of Diwali has grown each year, becoming one of the largest international events presented through PSU.

This year's festival features traditional and Bollywood dancing, fashion shows demonstrating Indian attire from different parts of the country, door prizes, and a fireworks display at the end of the evening. Indian food including 10 different types of cuisine from various regions of India is being catered by Indiana Palace of Lawrence, Kan.

Vidhi Kundalia, public relations chairperson for the Indian Student Association, said the group has taken extra measures to make this year's Diwali the best yet. One of the featured dances - the Bharatnatyam dance - will be performed by a PSU student with years of professional dance experience and a degree in dance. The group is setting up a bazaar at the event with Indian clothes, jewelry, and gifts for participants to purchase. Members of ISA even traveled to Lawrence recently to sample the food and make sure it isn't too spicy for mild eaters.

Each of the 55 ISA members will be dressed in ethnic clothing, and the event will be presented by four different emcees who will guide the audience through the evening of entertainment

Diwali is widely celebrated in most countries across the world through festive fireworks, lights, flowers, the sharing of gifts and desserts, and worship. While the story behind the holiday varies from region to region, the essence is the same: to rejoice in the inner light or the underlying reality of all things.

Tickets can be purchased this week for $10 (children 8 and under are free) at the ISA booth on the Oval, where members will be creating Henna tattoos for students through Thursday. Tickets can also be purchased through the International Programs and Services office by calling 620-235-4680, or at the venue on the night of the event for $12.

---Pitt State---

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