501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701-3995
Phone: (605) 394-6082/2554 • Fax: (605) 394-6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2002
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394-6082
Experience Indian culture Sunday, Nov. 24, during the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology India Club’s annual Diwali celebration. The event is free and open to the public.
Visitors can sample Indian food, watch traditional Indian dances, meet Indian students, and, weather permitting, enjoy a fireworks display. The event begins at 5 p.m. in the Surbeck Student Center on the Tech campus. The fireworks will launch from the parking lot between the Surbeck Student Center and the Devereaux Library.
Diwali is the most well known of the Indian festivals. It is celebrated throughout India, as well as in Indian communities throughout the world. It is also known as the "festival of lights�� because of the common practice of lighting small oil lamps called diyas and placing them around the home, in courtyards, verandahs, and gardens, as well as on roof-tops and outer walls. In urban areas, candles are often substituted for diyas.
Exchanging sweets and fireworks displays usually accompany Diwali celebrations. As with other Indian festivals, Diwali signifies many different things to people across India. In north India, Diwali celebrates Rama's homecoming to Ayodhya after the defeat of Ravana and his coronation as king. In Gujarat, the festival honors Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In Bengal, it is associated with the goddess Kali. Everywhere, it signifies the renewal of life, and it is common to wear new clothes on the day of the festival. Diwali also heralds the approach of winter and the beginning of the sowing season.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.