How does a month of fireworks, food and festivities sound? No, Independence Day isn’t going to be extended – this is a description of Diwali, an Indian festival that is just one of the many things you can learn about with UCA’s Indian Student Association.
Two years ago, the Indian Student Association was formed with the goal of spreading Indian culture and diversity on campus.
“Usually, all the big universities have an Indian Student Association,” president Keyoor Joshi said. “We thought, ‘Why don’t we have a group?’ There’s much to be shared about India and much to be learned.”
Joshi said the organization strives to involve the UCA and Conway community in their events, such as the recent Oct. 7 Navaratri celebration, where students participated in a traditional Indian folk dance called Dandiya Raas.
Their next event will be Nov. 10 for Diwali, which Joshi said is an Indian festival that is the equivalent of Christmas in the United States.
“There’s firecrackers, lots of food and people,” he said. “In India, people take 20 to 30 days vacation for it.”
Joshi said their organization is currently working on the Diwali celebration, and that it will be the “biggest Indian Student Association event so far.”
“The exchange of thought through events or any activity is the best thing about the Indian Student Association,” he said. “Our events help widen student’s horizons. They allow them to be more open-minded.”
Joshi said nearly half of the group’s 27 members are international students from India. He said their group helps Indian international students adjust to living in the United States by providing an environment to interact with others.
The group meets at 6 p.m. on Saturdays in the Student Center, according to its OrgSync page. For additional information, email Joshi at [email protected].