Diwali Celebration at Peddie


Peddie Students engage in the celebration of Diwali on campus.

Lisa Kogawa ‘23, Staff Writer

As Peddie prepared for Blair Week and the final showdown with their rival school Blair, the Desi Culture Club planned to bring their own Diwali celebration to the Peddie community, drawing a festive end to the spirited week. On November 7, the Desi Culture Club held a Diwali party celebrating the Festival of Lights with other Peddie students and teachers.

For those who normally celebrate Diwali at home, some traditions of the festival include decorating the house with lights, having a Pooja (or Puja, a religious ceremony where one makes an offering to an image of a God), cooking traditional foods and desserts, and lighting fireworks. These traditions are often associated with cultural or religious significance. Siri Unnam ’22 introduced some of the customs, saying that “We make sure to place days (oil lamps) at every entrance to invite goddess Laxmi into our home.” Karishma Gupta ’23 noted the symbolic meaning of the Diwali festival as “starting the Hindu New Year with the victory of light over darkness or good over evil.”

Another huge part of what Diwali means is for families to reunite and friends to reconnect and celebrate the holiday together. Unnam said that although she wasn’t able to go home for Diwali this year, “the Peddie community did an amazing job of making me feel at home. Two of the core factors of an Indian celebration are music and dance, and the Peddie community definitely showed up in those [aspects].” She also noted that the Diwali party was one of the first valuable opportunities for the Desi population at Peddie to bond over their culture.

Moreover, the huge turnouts at the party reflected great diversity. A large portion of the Peddie community immersed themselves in Desi culture, food, music, dances, and traditions that night. Sofia Caballero ’23 reflected that her favorite part of the party was when everyone danced along to the music. Even though not everyone understood the lyrics, they engaged with the festive spirit at the party. Caballero also highlighted the significance of attending the Diwali party, saying that “I did not understand [much about] Diwali before I went to the party, but the party helped enhance my knowledge on Diwali. It’s important to have these celebrations at Peddie so people can learn more about their peers.” She also believes that attending the Diwali party encouraged her to celebrate her own culture with the Peddie community as well.


The success of the party could not have been achieved without the Desi Culture Club working hard during the preparation and planning process. Gupta said that “the leaders put in a lot of work to make the party possible, such as communicating with Mr. Wreide and the COVID team at Peddie to allow families of Peddie students to join the celebration.” Ultimately, the parents that showed up at the party were amazingly helpful in providing the food and decorations for the party. The Desi Culture Club also put together a chapel presentation that introduced the festival and the party to the community.


Despite challenges in balancing COVID restrictions and the inherent effort that must be put in to hold such a festival, the Desi Culture Club presented the Peddie community with a great Diwali party celebrating Desi culture and educating the Peddie community about the amazing holiday.