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The 2014 Internal Diwali Festival at Chang Gung University
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The 2014 Internal Diwali Festival at Chang Gung University
 

To promote multiculturalism and establish a warm and welcome campus for international students, Chang Gung University held a series of activities to celebrate the 2014 International Diwali Festival in the auditorium of the Student Activity Center at 5:30pm on the 22nd of October. It was a privilege to have CGU Vice President Prof. Jan-Kan Chen along with the Deputy Director General of the India-Taipei Association Mr. Shambhu Hakki to celebrate with us. The festival drew zealous participation from faculty members and students on campus as well as off-campus guests. In addition to the traditional ritual of lighting up lamps and candles, the festival also featured original Indian culture consisting of singing and dancing, and delicacies. The bedazzling spectacle of colour and light, creating a vibrancy and exuberance of the festival, enthralled one and all.

Diwali, which is also known as Divali or Deepavali, means the "festival of lights". It is marked by five continuous days of celebration in late October or early November every year. To celebrate this auspicious festival, people light up lamps and candles all around their houses and temples. This festival signifies the spiritual victory of light over darkness, and good over evil. Before the Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes and offices, dress up in new clothes or their best outfit, exchange gifts between family members and close friends, and prepare a family feast. Family members, regardless of their age, watch the display of fireworks lighting up the neighbourhood skies. In addition, on the Diwali night, people light lamps and open their doors and windows to invite the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity Lakshmi to come in.
 

To celebrate the 2014 Internal Diwali Festival, the Indian students of Chang Gung University used colourful fresh flower petals and candlelight to create patterns of Rangoli on the floor. The presentation of Rangoli in front of the doors or gates of Indian families during the festival season is meant to welcome deities and distinguished guests. The purpose of the Rangoli is decoration, and it is used to welcome guests and is believed to able to bring good luck and fortune. Indian women use materials such as chalks, coloured rice, dry flour, and coloured sand to create designs and patterns of the Rangoli. The creation of the Rangoli appears simple and easy; nevertheless, each pattern and design is unique, symmetric, and aesthetic. Following the ceremony of lighting up lamps and candles were the vibrant Bollywood dancing performance and Indian songs. The participating guests, students, and faculty members also had an opportunity to sample Indian delicacies and cuisines. In the end, the 2014 Internal Diwali Festival was concluded with joyful atmosphere, smiling faces, and an evening to remember.
 

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