The season of festivals has dawned on us and Diwali is just around the corner. Being one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India, this celebration filled with lights and love brings people together and promotes peace and harmony. However, it is not just celebrated in India but all over the world, people in different parts of the globe come together to celebrate this beautiful festival. Through this blog, we bring you a sneak peek into the celebrations of Diwali at the top universities in the world and how Indian students pursuing higher studies abroad are celebrating this festival!
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Diwali at the World’s Top Universities
Some of the top universities in the world like Oxford, Cambridge and London School of Economics celebrate Diwali with a lot of enthusiasm and heartiness. It is the time of year when students forget all their worries and come together to immerse themselves in the fun and laughter during the Diwali celebrations.
Even in 2021, foreign universities are organising virtual celebrations to help Indian students studying abroad feel the spirit of this festival and celebrate it together even when they can’t go back home. In fact, Diwali at the world’s top universities is very famous, and people see it as an attempt to promote Indian culture and harmony among people of different countries. Many international students love celebrating Diwali and wait all year for cultural events. It gives them the chance to enjoy the festivities and be a part of a grand celebration.
University of Oxford
Diwali at the world’s top universities is a majestic event and Oxford University is setting a great example. In the year 2011, the University of Oxford hosted a Diwali Ball to commemorate the spirit of Diwali. It is a prime example of Diwali at the world’s top universities. The Oxford University Hindu Society was in charge of the event and they made sure it was spectacular. One of the things which students miss the most around Diwali is traditional Indian food, which is why the society served a traditional 3-course Indian meal along with stalls serving lassi and pani-puri. Students from all over the world participate in Diwali at this top university in the world, the Oxford Ball saw students coming in from Cambridge, London Universities and Bristol. In fact, a quarter of the guests were Non-Indian, everyone loves being part of a new culture. The final event was a spectacular display of fireworks.
This year, the University of Oxford is hosting the Virtual Oxford Diwali on Zoom right from the Oxford Hindu Temple and the fiesta includes a puppet show, Ganesha and Diya workshop, Lakshmi Pooja as well as Bollywood Dance with Jay Kumar!
University of Cambridge
Another great example of Diwali at the top universities in the world is set by the University of Cambridge, Diwali dinner is an important event in the Hindu Cultural Society’s calendar that involves prayers to the lord and a scrumptious Indian meal. A few years back, they also organized a mesmerizing classical dance performance and put a modern twist on Diwali celebrations with a Harry-Potter style Diwali. The society reported that non-Indian students were in awe of the culture and practices of the Indian celebrations. For this year’s Diwali, the university’s Hindu Cultural Society will be hosting a Diwali ball in accordance with the Covid-19 regulations.
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics Diwali celebrations has been an important example of Diwali at the world’s top universities for years now. The Indian Society ensures that students from all over the world understand and rejoice in Indian culture. The event is open to all students from different universities, it involves an hour-long Puja of prayers and singing Bhajans. The event finished with a delicious spread of Indian snacks and sweets.
University of Birmingham
An excellent example of Diwali at the world’s top universities in the virtual event organized by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with Sampad Arts and Heritage. It is an online event to uplift the Diwali spirits with the message – Tamaso ma Jyotirgamayo. This exclusive concert will be streamed on YouTube and some renowned artists will be performing such as Amit Trivedi, Aditya Rao, Mahesh Raghavan, Vinod Krishnan, The Ananda dancers, The Nandy Sisters and many more.
How can we even forget to talk about Boston University of the USA when discussing Diwali at the top universities in the world! Every year at Boston University, the Diwali festival is celebrated with a lot of love, craze, sweets, lights, etc. The celebration and pooja are organised by the Boston University Hindu Student Council society. The community things that different people celebrate Diwali for many different reasons, the central theme is the triumph of light over darkness and of good over evil. Every year, the BU Hindu Student Council organises a Diwali puja to invite goddess Lakshmi to our homes and bring peace, wealth and prosperity in the new year. The puja starts with the Ganesh Puja, then the Kalasha Puja and finally the Lakshmi Puja. The puja is conducted by a local priest followed by a complimentary Indian dinner!
10 Terrific Ways to Celebrate Diwali Abroad
Diwali is a major festival celebrated by the Indian community around the world, it’s also known as the Festival of lights. Apart from India, there are 12 countries abroad that have national holidays at the same time as Diwali. If you are an Indian student, studying abroad, here are some terrific ways to celebrate Diwali in an alien country and stay rooted to our Indian culture.
- Organize a potluck. Having a potluck with your friends or neighbours is far more enjoyable than going to a nightclub. The finest method to make your day is to dance on some Bollywood steps after eating some excellent regional food with close friends or family.
- Make rangoli with community people and friends.
- Attend or host a cultural program. On Diwali, there are a variety of cultural programmes held by your community that you can attend. Take the initiative and initiate a discussion with your friends about hosting one.
- Distribute sweets in your college and hostel. Let your college friends and people around you know about your rich culture and traditions.
- Decorate your house/rooms/college, etc. If you don’t decorate your home with lights for Diwali, you’re missing out. While people in your neighbourhood may decorate a tree for Christmas, it is quite acceptable to decorate your home with lights during Diwali.
- Organise and attend Diwali puja at your nearest Hindu temple. During Diwali, most Hindu temples throughout the world perform a big puja in which the goddess Lakshmi is worshipped for prosperity, peace, and wealth.
- Dine out in a Lavish Indian restaurant! After working, reward yourself and your friends and family with some Indian cuisine.
- Ligh candles, diyas, lanterns at night! Hanging lanterns can be purchased and hung inside homes and on balconies. You might also use sky lamps to create a beautiful scene in the sky.
- Visit old age homes, orphanages, and hospitals to distribute sweets, food, love and warmth.
- Send gifts to your family in India. There is no better feeling than receiving or sending gifts or money from a loved one who lives abroad, especially during Diwali.
Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil and light over darkness which is the need of the hour. 2021 has not been a great year so far but it cannot break our festive spirits, this is the time of the year to get together and share happiness. So, celebrate the festival of lights with great enthusiasm while staying safe. Stay tuned to Leverage Edu for more such interesting reads and don’t forget to explore our exclusive blogs on future careers, courses & more!