About 200 attend Indian festival

All graduate students in computer science, Anusha Kondapalli, Vivek Veldandi, Ralul Giobisetty, Ramya Mohanan, Uma D. Vaddeboina and Sampath K. Manne at the "Journey of India" — Diwali — festival in Akin Auditorium, Oct. 17, 2014. Photo by Sam Croft

All graduate students in computer science, Anusha Kondapalli, Vivek Veldandi, Ralul Giobisetty, Ramya Mohanan, Uma D. Vaddeboina and Sampath K. Manne at the “Journey of India” — Diwali — festival in Akin Auditorium, Oct. 17, 2014. Photo by Sam Croft

Pragna Vemuri, a graduate student in computer science, dances "Kuchipudi" at the "Journey of India" — Diwali — festival in Akin Auditorium, Oct. 17, 2014. Photo by Sam Croft

Pragna Vemuri, a graduate student in computer science, dances “Kuchipudi” at the “Journey of India” — Diwali — festival in Akin Auditorium, Oct. 17, 2014. Photo by Sam Croft

About 200 people attended Diwali — a Hindu festival of lights — in Akin Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 17. Although scheduled to start at 6 p.m., it got started about 6:40 p.m. with a candle-lighting ceremony by event organizer Nitant Gandhi, senior in biology.

  • “I participate in this event to counteract the feelings of missing home. We’ve been preparing for this event for one and a half to two months so that it runs smoothly,” Gandhi said.
  • “I am in love with this festival back home. It’s a happy time. I love to share my culture, it’s also a way for me to compensate for homesickness.” — Pooja Patel, exercise physiology sophomore.
  • “I came to see their type of culture and how they express it. It was cool last year which made me want to come again this year. A couple classmates are performing which made me want to come and watch the event.” — Michael Lamberti, mechanical engineering sophomore.
  • “An Indian friend of mine is in the event and she said that it was a big part of her culture so the least I could do was come and watch her perform.”— Emma-Kate Winkles, education sophomore.

The event ended about 8:30 p.m. when attendees moved to Dillard to sample Indian cuisine.