Life in Progress: A weblog by Heidi Price
10/23/2006

Diwali

My friend met this guy on a bus.

The guy, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, invited her to celebrate Diwali with him and his fellow classmates Sunday night at a campus celebration.

My friend needed a prop so I went. (Note to reader: Prop here makes use of one connotation of the word. I came as a support to my friend. To bolster her. To support her yet somehow not dominate the show.)

Diwali is the Hindu celebration of lights. A four-day celebration held in October or November, it commemorates the beginning of winter. There was food from India, dancing and praying.

The most stunning aspect of the evening were the visuals. There was a corner table with lit candles. The women were beautiful in their saris. And the men? Well, more than anything they seemed proud to have these beautiful women on their arms.

Everyone was warm and friendly. I met a young graduate student from Malaysia who explained some of the traditions to me.

I also like the inevitable mesh of cultures that occurs at events like this.

For example, the two graduate students who, during the talent portion of the evening, performed Californication by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The guitar the one student played sounded like a sweet sitar and the other sang softly and melodically. It was a rendition of the song I knew I would never hear again.

Anyway, I'm glad I went.

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