The South Asian Circle of Hopkinton (SACH) will be celebrating the “Festival of Lights” with the Hopkinton community with its annual Diwali Gala dinner on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts.
This year’s event is themed “A Journey through South Asia” and will take guests through different South Asian regions — from Sri Lanka and India to Pakistan and Bangladesh. The evening will feature folk dance and music from different regions, poetry by Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, and a signature classical dance called Bharatanatyam.
“It will be an evening filled with fun, delicious food and drinks, and extraordinary decor with created by our talented high schoolers,” said Meena Kaushik, one of the SACH board members and an organizer of the Diwali Gala.
A five-course buffet of traditional Indian food and an hour of cultural programs including dancing, music, poetry and more will entertain the 200-plus guests who will be in attendance.
The gala will include the traditional lighting of the lamps — this year done by special guest State Rep. Carolyn Dykema — which signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. During the traditional five-day Diwali festival, temples, home, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated as a metaphor for knowledge and consciousness.
Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists from around the world, but is a celebration that can be shared by all, said Kaushik.
“In South Asia, all celebrations are inclusive,” she said. “We celebrate with friends, and family and our neighbors; everyone is welcome.”
The SACH is a community based, non-profit organization founded in September of 2018 with a mission of “bringing together the collective strength, celebrating the culture and sharing the vibrant spirit of the South Asian diaspora of Hopkinton.”
As part of this year’s Diwali celebration, the group put up a lighted display sign at the Town Common.
The SACH also organizes regular displays at the library to educate people on South Asian traditions and cultures. Some of the displays have included the history of Chai tea and facts about the lunar new year. The group also hosts a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camp for elementary school students every summer.
“We do this to give back to the Hopkinton community with the talent that is here from the South Asian community,” Kaushik said.
For more information about the Diwali celebration and about the SACH, visit southasiancircleofhopkinton.org.