Diwali, or also known as the festival of lights, is a Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The pavilion at Texas A&M University-Kingsville was scenario for this year’s Diwali Flash mob celebration.
Nekshad Tangri, environmental engineering graduate student, was in charge of this year’s Diwali flash mob choreography.
“This flash mob was basically done to tell people about our festival Diwali, which is the festival of lights,” Tangri said. “We have been planning this choreography for about three to four weeks.”
The festival has been celebrated in the past, however, this is the first year that the Diwali flash mob was held.
Tangri said that Diwali is meant to spread joy and happiness.
“It’s a reminder that in spite of all your issues and problems in life there is always light at the end of the day, and is also a significance of hope,” he said.
Tangri also emphasized the growth of the Indian population here at TAMUK.
“We are already like 1300 Indians out here, and this is just about spreading Indian culture and how diverse we are,” he said. “It is pretty cool that our school is getting pretty diverse. We have people from everywhere, and it gives us a new angle.”
The Indian population is higher than ever, and Tangri expects more people than last year because of that.
Elizabeth Laurence, international & multicultural programming coordinator, has been advising this celebration for the past three years.
“The flash mob at the pavilion was a little snippet, a little taste of what’s to come,” Laurence said. “Diwali opens up people’s eyes, builds bridges, raises awareness and brings joy.”
Laurence said that this celebration has been growing here at TAMUK.
“Next year we will hope to improve it, we learn each year how to do it better,” she said.
Laurence said that Diwali and other similar events bring different cultures together.
“One of the most beautiful and significant pieces is the collaboration,” Laurence said. “This gives the opportunity to break away from any xenophobic ideas, get out of the comfort zone and explore the outside and most people are curious and interested in seeing this.”
She said the intent is to work together and bring in everybody because ultimately the goal is to include everyone as a big family and that brings in a lot of opportunities for collaboration and respect.