Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Diya Week, DESHI’s annual showcase of South Asian art, music, and culture, is already underway, but it’s not too late to get involved in the festivities! The next few days will be bringing a variety of different events that represent the wide-ranging interests of Deshi’s membership, and there is definitely something for everyone.
Now in its fourth year, Diya Week is DESHI’s biggest event, and it is intended to give students a sense of the variety of cultural experiences that Deshi members bring to the group and the campus. A “diya” is a small lamp, traditionally associated with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, which occurs around this time each year. Although DESHI’s event is no longer planned to coincide with Diwali specifically, the image of the illuminating lamp is still appropriate.
Although Diya Week is nominally coordinated by DESHI’s presidents, Sofia Saiyed and Parth Lakhani, Lakhani said that “because [DESHI] is composed of such diverse members…it’s hard for them to agree on any one thing or program”, so each event is actually coordinated by individual members or groups of members, according to what their particular interests are.
That said, Lakhani does have some overarching goals for the week. For him, Diya Week is above all an opportunity for South Asian students to have “a voice and presence on campus” and attract attention to issues that students might not otherwise know about. At Monday’s screening of India Untouched: Stories of a People Apart, for example, he was glad to see so many people get involved in the discussion. “Being able to present that for people to connect to it [and] see something in it that was worthwhile…that was just exciting to watch.”
“If a spec comes to campus,” he said, “and asks if there’s a South Asian group on campus, I want any student to be able to say yes, DESHI.”
Diya Week Events
For more information about Diya Week events, see the Swarthmore events calendar.
Lecture and Workshop: Professor Mani on the perception of dating in South Asian culture
Kohlberg 115, 5-7pm
Movie Screening: Kandahar
Kohlberg 228, 7-9pm
Movie Screening: Lage Raho Munna Bhai
Kohlberg 115, 7-9:30pm
Mehndi Night with Karaoke
Cricket: learn the rules and play the game
Outside Mertz, 2pm-?…
DESHI Dinner and Garba
Space is still available, so RSVP to ssaiyed1 quickly!
Upper Tarble, 6pm-?…
Diya Explosion/Roots After-Party
Paces, after the concert ’til late