Celebrate Diwali – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Celebrate Diwali

The South Asian Culture Club (SACC) will celebrate Diwali, commonly known as the festival of lights, on Friday, Nov. 12 in the Barn.  Diwali is a five- day celebration and one of the biggest festivals of Hindus.  Traditionally, family members and friends gather to light small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. 

From 5 -7 p.m., students and faculty are invited to join the South Asian Culture Club for a free, catered Indian dinner. After the meal, guests will also have the opportunity to paint clay holders.  Then, from 11 p.m – 1 a.m., the festivities will continue in the Barn with a Bollywood Dance party.  During the party, the club will offer free Mehndi (henna) tattoos.

While it’s commonly known as the festival of lights, it’s more significant spiritual meaning is the awareness of the inner light,” says Club President Heli Shah’13. “Through this event, we hope to shine some light on the lives of students and faculty members of the Hobart and William Smith community.”            

The central focus in Hindu philosophy is that there is a spiritual soul, the Atman, which is more powerful than the physical body or mind.  And the triumph of good over evil is a triumph of higher knowledge which brings compassion and awareness. 

The South Asian Culture Club is a new club on campus.  “It’s the hope of the club to share the cultures of South Asia with the entire community of HWS,” Shah says.

The group will also be collecting donations to send to Hoshyar Foundation, an organization that helps educate girls in South Asia. Visit the website for more information: