The past October 19 was a special day for Hindus people as they celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights and temples. Likewise, Manish Kumar and Azad Nanda, two students from India studying in Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) were also celebrating it. Unlike the celebrations they had before, this time they shared the joyful moments with fellow students from UNS and some locals of Solo.
Held on Friday, October 20, the celebration was organized by the International Office of UNS as one of its regular program “Sharing Day”. Sharing Day was usually held at campus area, but the Indian Day was not. It was the first to be held outside of the campus as it was meant for not only UNS students but also people of Solo. It took place at East.co, a café in Laweyan district.
The event started after sunset. Dozens of candles and decoration were prepared around the location. Fellow students from UNS as well as some locals who happened to be at the café seemed to be enthusiastic as they crowded and filled the location. As it was getting dark, they were then asked to light the candles to signify the Diwali celebration. In turn, Manish and Azad began the sharing session.
They talked about India and especially the celebration of Diwali. Azad, majoring in history, talked about the development of Indonesian-Indian relationship at the earlier times, since the days of the kingdom. “India and Indonesia had strong relationship back then, in economic and culture sector. Hindu religion and the culture were brought to Indonesia from India, and then Islam came later. But, although Islam had been the religion of majority of Indonesian, a part of Hindus culture was somehow still maintained. And we also learned something from Indonesia—its sea navigation system”, he told the comers at the beginning.
As for the celebration of Diwali, Manish talked more of it. He said Diwali was apparently more popular among youngsters because the festivity. “People usually light candles, firework and crackers, but these days crackers are prohibited. About food, we usually serve some dishes like sweets and snacks”, he mentioned before talking more about Diwali and its meaning for Hindus people.
Not only sharing stories, Manish and Azad also gave privilege to the comers to taste some Indian dishes. At that occasion, they cooked Samosa, Gajar ka Halwa, Gulab Jamun, Aloo curry, and Puri. After some snacks, they played some Bollywood music and asked one of the comers to sing together.