Diwali- The Festival of Lights

Name: Liny John

Year: Class of 2009

Previous Guest Blog Entries:

April 26, 2007 -- Spring Fair 2007: The Hottest Event on Campus, click here.

December 1, 2006 -- Life as BME III: How it’s not so BME after all, click here.


This past Saturday was the Johns Hopkins’ annual Diwali celebration.  Diwali is a Hindu holiday Decorations_2 commemorating the return of an Indian king from exile.  The story goes that when the king came back, the people of his land had the village lit up to represent the uplighting of darkness and to signify the victory of good over evil.  Every year, the HSC (Hindu Student Council) of Hopkins gets together to make this event happen.  Though I’m Christian, being Indian and having my roommate as vice president of HSC, I get a pretty good inside scoop on what it takes to make one of the largest student run events on campus.

Decorations_3 The Diwali event is held at the Ralph S. O’Conner Recreation Center on the Hopkins Homewood campus every year and admission is absolutely free!  Most people come dressed up (especially in Indian clothes if they own any).  Diwali preparations mainly start the morning of.  Putting up all the decorations takes up the whole day!  The most important part of these decorations are the lights (after all it is the festival of lights!).  This year was especially hard when we found a lot of the light fuses burnt out!  Luckily the HSC board was on top of their toes and got everything fixed in no time!Food

The event started at 7pm with free food from Akbar Restaurant!  Food included really yummy samosas with chutney!  About an hour later after people got to mingle and talk, the highlight of the celebration started with the performances.  Each year for the event, all of the IndDressed_upian dance and singing groups on campus come together to perform in front of the large crowd.  The first performance was by Shakti (the team I’m co-captain of).  We’re the classical Indian dance group on campus.  After us, the  bhangra team performed.  For those who don’t know what bhangra is, you’ve probably heard of a bhangra song but just never noticed (think of the background of Jay-Z’s ‘Beware of the Boy’s’ song).  Kranti – the Hopkins Hindi acapella group also perforDancingmed.  To close out the performances, our Raas and Garba team (RAGE) – they’re the Indian dance that involves sticks -- performed!

When all the performances were over, all that was left was for the gym to be cleared so everyone could do raas, garba, and bhangra and have fun.  All in all, this year’s Diwali went off wonderfully!  It was estimated that at least 1500 people must have stopped by at some point!

Now enjoy some videos …

About Hopkins Insider

Johns Hopkins University: A Bird's Eye View


  1. Food from Akbar?!?!? Aaaaaack, I’m always told how I need to try food from there. Too bad I missed Diwali for the SECOND year in a row.

  2. Diwali was so cool, and the food was delicious. I am so happy I went! It was great to listen to some awesome music as well as see some pretty sweet dance moves.

  3. Basically, I always agree with Kate and her comments. That food looks amazing… I really wish I had some right now.

  4. hey.. its exciting to hear that the Hindu community is so active at JHU. I am an Indian, and have lived in Kuwait all my life. I am currently wait listed for the class of 2012, keeping my fingers crossed!
    is the butter chicken any good in Baltimore?

Comments are closed