Louisville Indian community celebrates Diwali


Maya Joshi

Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, occurred yesterday on Nov. 7. Manual students and their families celebrated by putting up Christmas lights, lighting small oil lamps (called Diyas) and setting off fireworks.

A local Indian restaurant wishes patrons a happy Diwali with lights and decorations. Photo by Maya Joshi.

“My mom puts up lights, she cooks special food, and reads from a religious book. She makes some sweets, we pray, and then we eat,” Karthik Jetty (11, MST) said. Jetty’s family is Hindu, and acknowledges the religious aspect of Diwali. However, this holiday isn’t celebrated solely by Hindus. Diwali is a time of significance to many Indian cultures and religions, including Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Traditionally Diwali is dedicated to the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, and people will light diyas and put them in the window all night, to invite Lakshmi into their homes in hopes that the goddess will bless them with riches. Diwali always takes place sometime between October and November.

A candle lit by the front door welcomes good fortune into the home. Photo by Maya Joshi.

The University of Louisville’s Indian Student Association is hosting their annual Jalsa event to celebrate Diwali on Nov. 10, with a dinner and Indian cultural performances. General admission tickets at the door are $15. ICF, or India Community Foundation, is hosting their Diwali celebration on Dec. 2 with a dinner and entertainment.