Q&A: students on celebrating Diwali


Photo by Kabir Chaudhry.

Max Zonana

This year, celebrations for Diwali, the Festival of Lights, began on November 2, with the main day of festivities taking place on November 4 and the new year falling on November 6. Diwali is the celebration of light over darkness and good over evil. Specifically, it honors Lord Rama’s return to his village after defeating the demon Ravana. We spoke with MVHS junior Vanya Sethi and senior Aarav Upadhyay to learn about how they celebrated!

How do you celebrate Diwali?

Aarav Upadhyay: “What we mainly do is meet with friends and family. And then we would also make a lot of different sweets. And then when we meet with friends and family, we normally dress up in traditional Indian clothing. And we would just hang out with each other,  we would eat dinner, maybe, or just share sweets or something like that.”

Vanya Sethi: “We put candles around our houses and we light them and we decorate our house with different decorations like flowers and candles. And then we eat lots of food.”

Is there anything unique about this year’s celebrations due to the pandemic?

Aarav Upadhyay: “This year, we basically did what we normally do every year. We just met with family outside obviously because of COVID. So then we just met outside we exchanged some gifts and then we just lit some small fireworks in the backyard.”

Vanya Sethi: “Not really it’s kind of the same every year. It’s a little bit harder [to celebrate] this year because obviously, COVID makes it harder. But I think that it’s the same thing we do every year; we just celebrate, we depending on what religion you’re in you pray, you eat food and you celebrate with friends.”

How did you celebrate at MVHS?

Aarav Upadhyay: “A meeting with with the [Indian Student Union] club and then we just basically learned about Dilwali”

Vanya Sethi: “We brought some sweets that we could eat. We made Diyas. Diyas are like their candles. So we decorated some of the candles. We did Henna, there was one girl who was doing hand on people…It was nice having to like being able to share it with someone else at school when there aren’t very many Indians at school.”

What is your favorite Diwali related tradition?

Aarav Upadhyay: “I would probably say my favorite tradition would be meeting with family.”

Vanya Sethi: “[Playing with sparklers] with friends and it’s just a lot of fun and you like you are playing around you’re taking pictures.”