An Indiana University of Pennsylvania student sings at India Night Saturday, Oct. 30. (Photo/Rose Catlos)
I tried this week to cover India Night held Saturday, Oct. 30, in the Hadley Union Building in Indiana, as a mobile journalism or "mojo" event. Unfortunately, my technology backfired, and all the pictures I attempted to send from my camera phone to Twitter via "twitpic" did not send. Regardless, I was able to shoot some photographs with my digital camera of the dancing, performances, food and people.
India Night celebrates Diwali, or "the festival of lights," which is a five-day Hindu holiday originating in India that celebrates the light of God and the triumph of good over evil. Diwali actually falls on Nov. 5 this year, and the holiday's date changes yearly according to the moon's position. The people dress in brightly colored traditional clothing such as saris, and festivities include lamp or candle lighting, dancing, singing and feasting, according to diwalifestival.org. Both Indiana University of Pennsylvania students and Indiana community members gave the audience a taste of India with traditional and contemporary songs and dances, as well as one sketch comedy act. Click here to read more about Diwali Day.
I happen to be an Indian food enthusiast and enjoyed my share of pakoras, and piled my plate with plenty of other things I could not name. I was not disappointed. Food included appetizers as well as traditional dishes such as curry chicken and naan bread, and other traditional fare.
Chicken curry (left) and naan bread (below, right). Photos courtesy of Google Images.
Diwali Day at IUP is in its fourth year. The festival has grown considerably in size. This was my third year attending the event, and I think it was the largest and most lively crowd I have seen. The acts vary every year, but the performers never cease to entertain me and the bright colors and coming-together of all cultures never ceases to enchant me.
The event's growth has been helped by the recent influx of Indian students attending Eberly College of Business and Technology (ECOBIT). The college's Indian student population has doubled in size in the last few years, said Dr. Prashanth Bharadwaj, a management professor and event coordinator.
Also celebrated at the event was the success of 12 ECOBIT who participated in a three-day business competition from Oct. 9 to 17 in Bangalore, India. Bharadwaj recognized the students stage, and a few wore traditional costumes purchased on the trip. They shared their experience and appreciation for the competition and trip abroad.
The ECOBIT students who particpated in the business competition in Bangalore, India, are presented by Dr. Prashanth Bharadwaj. (Photo/Rose Catlos)
"The India trip was great, and I enjoyed getting to meet the Indian students," said Lauren Young, a senior marketing major, who placed first in the competition's marketing component along with fellow senior marketing major Laura Leach. "They were very welcoming. It made the trip so much more fun."
Although my first attempt at working my mojo did not work, I was able to enjoy another great Diwali festival. I know I am not alone in saying that I hope the event will continue to shed it its light for years to come.
Dancers at India Night. (Photo/Rose Catlos).