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Susquehanna University to Celebrate Hindu Festival of Lights

SELINSGROVE—Susquehanna University will hold its eighth annual Diwali celebration on Nov. 14. Commemorating the traditional Hindu “Festival of Lights,” the event begins at 6:15 p.m. with dance performances in the Degenstein Center Theater, followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m. in Evert Dining Room. The program is open to the public.

The pre-dinner program will showcase the talents of Sanchita Bhattacharya, a celebrated performer of the classical dance form known as Odissi. Bhattacharya has performed at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the Esplanade Theater in Singapore, the World Culture Concert in the United Kingdom, and the Provincial Museum of Alberta, Canada, among other venues.

“This is a marvelous opportunity for the Susquehanna community to see a world-renowned artist at work,” said Rachana Sachdev, associate professor of English at Susquehanna and organizer of the event. “We hope to have an energetic, fun evening.”

The buffet-style dinner, catered by Harrisburg-based Passage to India, will include traditional Indian appetizers and main dishes with chicken, lamb and vegetables. An hour of Indian folk dancing will follow, with audience participation and leaders teaching both Dandiya (stick dancing) and Bhangra forms of dance.

Diwali, translated as “row of lamps,” is a five-day Indian festival celebrated between the end of September and early November, according to the lunar calendar. Its religious traditions are observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains, while other Indians honor its cultural elements. Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the emergence of inner, spiritual light through such rituals as illuminating home decorations, fireworks, gifts, sweets and prayers. Candles, brilliant displays and colorful paper lanterns are common features of the festival.

Tickets for the program at Susquehanna are $20 for the general public and $15 for students. Tickets may be purchased at the university box office by calling 570-372-ARTS.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 36 states and 13 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers. For more information, visit www.susqu.edu


Karen M. Jones

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