University of Alaska Fairbanks logo bear University of Alaska Fairbanks

News

  • Monday, November 11, 2019
  • Diwali Celebration Shares Indian Festivities With Family and Friends

The annual UAF Diwali event is one way for people of the Hindu faith to share their celebration with the Fairbanks community.

ACEP electrical engineering Ph.D. student Chinmay Shah is from Gujarat, India, and he has been in Alaska for two years. He is one of the Namaste India student club leaders.
The Diwali event is organized every year by Namaste India at the Wood Center ballroom. The Indian community in Fairbanks and their friends get together to cook food for about 350 people and decorate the ballroom.

Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights that symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. As per the Hindu tradition, Diwali is the day when Lord/God Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanumana reached Ayodhya (their home) after a period in exile and Rama's army of good defeated demon king Ravana's army of evil.
Back in India, on the day of Diwali, Shah explained, all the family members and friends get together to exchange gifts, food and happiness.

“Everyone decorates their house with lightings and chandeliers. We celebrate it every year here in Fairbanks with friends and loved ones since they are like the family away from home,” Shah said.
ACEP interns Emily Browning and Kyle Alvarado volunteered to help prepare for the Diwali 2019 event. Daisy Huang, David Light and Dominique Pride from ACEP visited the Diwali 2019 event. UA President Jim Johnsen, UAF Chancellor Dan White and UAF Provost Anupma Prakash and their spouses participated in the event.

The Fairbanks community is the lucky recipient of this event, receiving a rich taste of Indian culture and delicous food.

 

Chinmay Shah (front left) is the treasurer of UAF’s Namaste India student club. Photo by JR Ancheta.