Jaiman Shah reports on a memorable Festival of Lights celebration for Diwali in Singapore.
After two regular annual events – International Day and Oktoberfest, it was Diwali which brought out the regional flavour in the NUS MBA program.
Diwali is the Indian festival of lights celebrated to mark the beginning of Hindu New Year. For Indians, it was a feeling of home away from home while for we introduced our culture to our batch mates. So much so that, Karla, our friend from Philippines, turned up in a red-n-black saree to celebrate Diwali in the authentic Indian style.
For starters, we decorated the MBA Lounge and MBA Club Lounge as closely as possible to the decorations back home in India. With all those glittering decorative materials to using duppattas, (Indian scarves), we tried to create a bright MBA lounge to showcase the Indian tradition. The girls from first year decorated the floor by making ‘rangoli’ just outside the lobby. Since we were short of colors, we improvised by mixing colors and rice to get a good design. Later in the evening, rows of diyas (wick lamps) were lit up, adorning the beauty of the NUS Business School lobby.
MBA Club Lounge was converted to a mini temple of sorts with Arindam, a 2nd year student, guiding us as to how to follow the rituals and rites. He successfully passed on the baton to Srinivasa, who performed the ‘traditional Ganesh-Laxmi pooja’ for the festival.
The highlight of the evening was as always – bursting crackers. The entire batch got together to light up the school. And the funniest part was the whistling sparklers which startled others. This was undoubtedly a home away from home.
Then came the food – from the tastiest paneer (cottage cheese) to gajar ka halwa (sweet made from milk and grated carrots) – everything was truly Indian. I had never had tastier Indian food before, here in Singapore. So delicious it was that we had to reorder the food in large quantities.
Diwali always brings out best memories for every Indian. It’s a festival which is celebrated in every nook and corner of India and is undoubtedly the most awaited, most anticipated festival of the year. This year, we had a great time and none of us felt that we were 3000 miles away from home. Thanks to my wonderful batchmates, it felt as if I was already in India. Thank you NUS Business School for organising this wonderful evening.
Class of 2010