The Indian Culture Association held a Diwali event at Teague Center in Zone 1 Saturday. This is the organization’s second semester on campus and first time holding a Diwali event as an official organization.
The evening consisted of dancing and authentic Indian cuisine, which was made possible by community donors. The celebration was open to students, faculty, and the Abilene community. Freshman computer science major from Garland and Marketing director for ICA Alin Geevarghese Anil helped advertise the event.
“Our community is the backbone of our organization. If you tell them there’s an event, they bring food. They help us to set up,” Anil said. “We’re proud to just hold different events for [students] to experience different cultures.”
The Teague Center was lined with tables, chairs and decor for the Diwali event, and by 7 p.m., guests lined up for food, including kachumber, puri, undhiyu and shrikhand. After the meal, guests were invited to dance. Senior accounting major from Breckenridge, co-founder and VP of ICA Vihasi Gandhi helped lead the dances to celebrate Diwali.
“Diwali is a festival of light; it symbolizes the two major symbolisms of life, which is light, dark – good, evil,” Gandhi said. “Diwali is just a triumph of good over everything bad and is just a reset for all the events and new year.”
Junior financial management major, president and co-founder of ICA from Abilene Yajat Patel recalls that when he was younger, the Abilene community would frequently host Diwali, Holi and Navratri functions. On campus, however, he noticed that this South Asian culture was missing. So, he and Gandhi teamed up to form ICA. Last semester they hosted a large event to celebrate Holi.
“This shows people that there are multiple cultures on campus,” Patel said. “Also, this is a good way to show what happens in India during these events.”
ICA also holds an All Walks of Life chapel on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in BSB 120, encouraging interfaith conversations among the ACU community.
“I’m happy too that ACU is welcoming this community on campus, and we’re so happy to have a lot of locals be part of it,” Patel said.
For more information, follow @acu_ica on Instagram.