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Pinewood Shines Bright with Diwali

A Spectacular Festival of Light Over Evil
Sam Jezak

At Upper Campus on Thursday, November 9, you may have seen an extravagant sea of wires and lights sprawling the entire Cue Quad. From 6 to 8 pm, over 100 attendees attended Pinewood’s celebration of the Festival of Lights: Diwali. 

Organized by Diwali Celebration Chair Rohini Panjrath, mother of third and eighth graders Ayan and Arvin, the event began with an hour of Indian song and dance including a performance οf “Chammak Challo” and “Sooraj Dooba Hain” by eighth grader Aadya Kumar.

“Song and dance really make Diwali special,” Kumar said. “It gives people a chance to interact with each other and join in on the fun.”

And, customary arts and crafts booths gave attendees an opportunity to engage in hands-on creativity and design activities.

“We decorate with rangoli, designs made of colorful sand, or light diyas, oil lamps hung in the sky, in order to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness,” said Panjrath. 

For senior Vishesh Ranganathan, the events helped him feel more represented in terms of his culture on campus.   

“It was great to see all the traditions and customs that I’ve practiced for so many years come to life,” Ranganathan said. “It was especially cool to share them with my friends.”

Building on Pinewood’s Holi celebration last year, Director of Community and Alumni Engagement Anne Wong said the event sought to contribute to Pinewood’s year-long goal of cultivating a culture of respect and belonging through diversity.

It brings me great joy to see families celebrating the diversity within Pinewood when they are able to share their roots not just with their immediate family but with the Pinewood family as well,” she said.

Above all, however, Panjrath and Wong echoed a similar sentiment: they were glad to see those who attended have fun.

“It was wonderful to see the smiles, joy, and pride from our students and parents,” Wong said.

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