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The Beacon

Olentangy celebrates Diwali with dress-up day


Diwali, also known as Deepavali, occurred this year on Nov. 12. As streets around the world celebrated with firecrackers and diyas, students also put on a simple but strong celebration in commemoration of the festival of lights.

On Friday, Nov. 10, students came to school dressed in traditional South Asian clothing, with boys attired in kurtas and girls in lehengas. Initiated by the Diversity Club and promoted by Student Council, the occasion continued a tradition that started last year.

“Last year, someone from another school posted a story about dressing up to school in traditional clothing for Diwali,” Diversity Club secretary and junior Aishy Yarragonda said. “It spread to the Indian community here, and one day we spontaneously all just showed up!”

In addition to OHS, the tradition has become a staple in other Olentangy schools like Orange, and has already been prominent in Dublin Jerome for a while. With this practice, students celebrate their heritage while others enjoy a chance to connect with a different culture.

“The significance of Diwali is celebrating the idea that the good always overcomes the bad,” Yarragonda said. “There’s also a Hindu mythological aspect to it, which is the day Rama, one of Vishnu’s reincarnations, killed Ravana, the demon king, for kidnapping his wife Sita.”

Beyond religious meanings, Diwali is India’s biggest holiday, observed by all faiths. It has remained popular within the South Asian diaspora abroad, which includes a considerable community in the Lewis Center area. With around 40 people who participated this year, the Diversity Club looks to further expand the level of Diwali celebrations in the coming years.

“As secretary, I do plan on bringing the idea of an Indian formal for Diwali with different dances, food and music from all around India,” Yarragonda said. “It would bring everything together and truly create the culture that occurs during Diwali.”

This year’s Diwali celebrations generated smiles and vibrance in school, and around the world. Inspired by other schools and loaded with aspirations for the future, the school may see even more spirited festivities for Diwali soon.

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