November 26, 2011
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha organized special Diwali celebrations for students at their campus. The celebrations were organized at over 15 different campuses attended by over 1800 students. From decorating the locations to preparing food for the Annakut, the students got together to prepare for the event.
Students arrived at the event dressed in new colorful Indian outfits. The atmosphere was filled with festivity and divinity as they greeted each other. They were welcomed in the traditional Hindu manner by applying a chandlo (red vermillion mark) to their forehead and tying of nada chhadhi (red thread) on their right wrist.
The theme of the Diwali celebration was: Diwali: In the Joy of Others. Pujya swamis visited the campus Diwali celebrations and guided the students on the importance of embracing compassion and empathy for one another to alleviate the loneliness and self-anxiety faced by many in college.
Speaking after the event, Bhagwat Patel said, “Diwali is my favorite festival but having moved away from home, I did not know what to do during Diwali. After coming to the BAPS Campus Diwali Celebration, I felt as if I was in India. I experienced my culture while getting a taste of fine Indian cuisine. Every person I met had an expression of warmth and happiness on their face. I truly felt at home.”
After the assembly, all the students enjoyed a vegetarian meal of traditional Indian food items.