Imagine a night illuminated with colourful lights and fireworks; now expand that thought to the scale of an entire country consisting of 1.3 billion people. Diwali, the festival that lights up every street, village and city of India, is probably one of the most magical nights one can experience.
Diwali is traditionally a five-day festival but it’s usually the fourth day that is referred to, which marks the return of the Hindu God Rama to his kingdom after 14 years of exile with his wife Goddess Sita. Though being a Hindu festival, Diwali stands as a symbol of unity amongst Indians as everyone adores and celebrates the festival.
The Indian Society of Manchester (ISOM) hosted their own Diwali Mela on the 16th of October at the Manchester Academy, a magical night focused on capturing the essence of this magical festival, giving Indians a feel of their homeland and the rest a feel of India.
Stuti Sethi, the president of the ISOM, said to The Mancunion: “It was wonderful to organise and celebrate the most awaited festival of India. I’m glad people from different parts of the world came and tried to learn about the essence of our culture.
“When all faces and ears turned towards me in my last segment of the vote of thanks, I realised we were successful.”
With over 550 people at the Academy, the night kicked off with a traditional ‘Namaskara’ followed by traditional Indian dances with a western twist, performed by the Indian Society dance crew. Then an Indian take on pop culture music and a skit on the epic Ramayana, highlighting the history of Diwali.
ISOM had just under three weeks to put on the show.
“We had only 2-3 weeks to pull this off and I am surprised we did it so well. It was an experience I can never forget,” Varang Bombaywala, Treasurer at ISOM, told The Mancunion.