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  • Manini Sethi

Diwali Lights up CBU

Diwali is one of India’s most important festivals. It symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness and of good over evil. Even though the festival has its roots in Hindu mythology, it is celebrated by both, Hindu and non-Hindu communities all over India.

Photo Credits- Ashwin Bhatnagar

At Cape Breton University, with thousands of Indian students, Diwali was no small affair. CBU and CBUSU ensured that the Diwali celebration at the University was a memorable night for all those attending the event. Indian students abroad often feel homesick during Diwali and other festivals as they are used to celebrating with their families. At CBU, however, friends became family as students and community members danced to Indian tunes in their traditional Indian dresses.

Photo Credits – Steve Wadden Photography

In an interview with Caper Times, Juwel Jacob, a member of the Organising Committee of the Diwali Celebration, said that the Diwali event this year was the biggest CBU has ever hosted. His excellency, Mr. Vikas Swarup, High Commissioner of India to Canada, was the Chief Guest at the event. About twenty-five hundred guests were a part of the celebration. Local businesses such as Caper Crepes, Swagat Restaurant, SNS and Chatswell were present on the venue and served mouth-watering Indian dishes such as pav-bhaji, papdi-chaat, masala dosa and chicken biryani to guests.

Photo Credits – Steve Wadden Photography

The MC’s for the night, Juwel Jacob and Ashley Reji invited President and Vice-Chancellor, David C. Dingwall along with his excellency, Mr. Vikas Swarup to address the audience and begin the celebrations. President Dingwall also announced that since CBU had recently lost a member of its family, Manuel Palliyil Tony (Manu), there would be no firecrackers. The audience observed a moment of silence in grief for Manuel and his family.

Photo Credits – Steve Wadden Photography

Photo Credits – Steve Wadden Photography

Students of CBU showcased their talent in front of the audience through several performances which took place during the event. Bhangra, the traditional folk dance of the north Indian state of Punjab performed by the East Coast Bhangra group and by PJ Bhangra Crew. A melodious performance was given by Ananthakrishnan Rajasekharan Pillai . Several classical and fusion performances took place. Many students also performed unique talents such as poetry and rap.

Photo Credits – Steve Wadden Photography

The festive spirit brought about huge turnout at the event, however some students could not attend the event as they were unable to get the passes for the same.

When asked about the limited number of passes for the event, Juwel Jacob, Member of Organising committee said that every space in CBU has a maximum capacity in terms of the number of people it can accommodate at a given point of time due to fire and safety regulations. The Canada games complex, the venue for the event, has a capacity of around 2500 people because of which a limited number of passes were given out. For those who could not attend the event, the function was live streamed on YouTube.

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