The Indian Students Association is one of the largest clubs on RPI's Campus. Founded in 1987, the club aims to increase awareness of Indian culture and traditions amongst the RPI student body. Through events like the Diwali show, the Garba, mixers, retreats, and athletic competitions, ISA seeks to promote the music, language, traditions, and culture of India throughout RPI's campus and the local community.
Diwali Show 11/9 7:30pm West Hall
Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated around the end of October or early November. This festival is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains.
For Hindus, Deepavali or Diwali is a 5-day festival which starts on Dhanteras, celebrated on the 13th lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Ashwin.
Dhanteras ends on Bhaubeej, celebrated on the 2nd lunar day of Shukla paksha of the Hindu calendar month Kartik. Diwali is an important festival for Hindus and they celebrate the festival by performing cultural activites, dances, etc. The festival starts with Dhanteras (when most Indian business communities begin their financial year) and the second day is called the Naraka Chaturdas, a day when prayers and religious rituals are performed and ends on the fifth day called Yama Dvitiya, a day when sisters invite their brothers to their homes.
Not only is Diwali celebrated by Hindus, but also it is celebrated by Sikhs. For more information on how Hindus celebrate Diwali, please follow this link: www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/sikhism/holydays/diwali.shtml
For Sikhs, Diwali is the day when the Sikh festival Bandi Chor Divas ("Day of Liberation") is celebrated. It is a day of liberation because this day marks the day of release from prison of the sixth guru (Guru Hargobind Ji). He was wrongfully imprisoned, but Bandi Chor Divas celebrates his release along with 52 other princes' releases in October 1619. Following their release, Guru Hargobind Ji arrived in Amritsar in the midst of Diwali, so Diwali was henceforth associated with liberation for Sikhs. For more information on how Sikhs celebrate Diwali, please follow this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/sikhism/holydays/diwali.shtml
For Jains, Diwali has a special significance due to Lord Mahavira attaining Nirvana or Moksh on this day at Pavapuri in 15 October 527 BCE. According to Kaplasutra, 3rd century BC, many gods were present there to illuminate the darkness. Therefore, Jains celebrate Diwali as a day of remembering Mahavira. For more information on how Jains celebrate Diwali, please follow this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/jainism/holydays/holydays.shtml