[News] Indians in Korea celebrate Diwali
The Korea Herald
Published : 2012-11-20 20:21
Indians In Korea used a blend of traditional celebrations and family entertainment to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, at the University of Suwon’s Balcanto Art Center on Nov. 11.
More than 500 people attended the IIK Diwali Dhamaka, including guests from the Indian community in Korea and the wider Korean and foreign community.
The Indian Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Jeeva Sagar began the festivities by lighting a traditional lamp. He was joined by his wife Srilata and professor Park Moon-su, dean of academic affairs at the University of Suwon.
Addressing the gathering, Jeeva Sagar spoke about the history of Diwali and the significance of celebrating the festival.
“The origin of Diwali lies in varied legends and mythologies of the ancient Indian scriptures, mostly the Puranas. However, all of them have a common message: they all depict the triumph of the good over the evil,” he said.
“India is a land of festivals. Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated with fervor and gaiety. The festival is celebrated by the young and the old, the rich and the poor, throughout the country to dispel darkness and light up their lives.”
He said that the festival symbolized unity in diversity as everybody in India celebrates Diwali in their own special way.
“Diwali is the celebration of this inner light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness of all obstacles and dispels all ignorance, awakening the individual to one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality,” he added.
Angel’s Kindergarten, an Indian preschool in South Korea, started the evening’s stage performances, with a parade of children in fancy dress.
This was followed by an Indian dance performance by a Korean troupe from the Indian Cultural Center, Embassy of India.
The stage was set alight with performances including a Bharatnatyam-based kids' dance, Bollywood numbers such as "Barso Re Megha" and "Aika Dajiba," kids’ Panjabi bhangara and fusion dance, as well as Dandiya-garba and Marathi Lavani dances. The final performance was "Magic of Arabia."
Another highlight was the comic-inspired lucky draw ― the host stole the show with his impeccable comic timing, using members of the audience to help him perform his tricks.
The night ended with food from Chakraa Indian Restaurant and DJs playing Bollywood hits.
By Rohidas Arote
Rohidas Arote is an assistant professor at Seoul National University and has been a member of Indians in Korea since 2005 and is actively involvedin all IIK's activities. ― Ed.