Festival of Light marked at Exeter Diwali dinner
On Wednesday October 14th Exeter College joined in with Diwali celebrations by hosting its own Diwali Dinner, attended by over 50 guests. The evening started with a talk from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on Racial Minorities in Britain, as part of a series of seminars by the Rector. Afterwards, fireworks and light sparklers were lit in the main quad and traditional Indian sweets and savouries were shared out among the spectators.
The dinner itself started with a reading from the Bhagavad Gita, replacing the usual Latin grace. The meal was fantastic and even included an item that had been cooked using a recipe taken from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s own book: ‘The Settler’s Cookbook’. Before dessert, Nakul Krishna, a former Exeter student, read out a passage from a translated version of Ramayana, an Indian epic. This told of Rama’s spectacular return to Ayodhya on an aerial chariot, with the city lit with lights to celebrate his return. This story is the meaning behind Diwali, and gives it its name which can be translated as ‘The Festival of Lights’. The story is highly significant and was applauded by all.
The evening was an enormous success and guests got to enjoy a real feel for Indian culture.