A grand celebration for Diwali was held at Wesbrook Community Centre on Nov. 12, 2023.
Diwali, known as the ‘festival of lights,’ is one of the biggest and most important festivals in India, and has been celebrated for thousands of years. It signifies light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, which is symbolized by clay lamps that people in India will light outside their homes.
Here in Wesbrook, Diwali celebrations have been organized and held annually. First held in 2018, the celebration drew around 200 people. And this year – five years later – approximately 700 people showed up.
Attendees were first welcomed with a bindi, before having the opportunity to take part in various activities. People could participate in making a traditional form of Indian art called a Rangoli, get henna art, and even learn how to wear a sari – all while sipping on chai or nibbling on delicious samosas.
There was also a performance of classical Indian and Bollywood dances, with a grand finale flash-mob style dance that many danced along with.
This event could not have been put on without UNA grants and the generous love and care from the volunteers and organizers, said Nidhi Raina, lead organizer of the event.
“They put so much work into it,” Raina told The Campus Resident. “They do everything, design the sets, do all the outlines, make all the chai and samosas.”
“People turn up and say ‘how can we help?’” she added.
At its core, Wesbrook’s Diwali is truly a community-led event.
AMIE BERNAERDT IS A SECOND-YEAR STUDENT AT UBC WITH PLANS TO MAJOR IN CREATIVE WRITING OR ANTHROPOLOGY. SHE LIVES IN WESBROOK PLACE.