By Sarita Pillai
Since 2014, the Bedford Desi Club (BDC) has organized Bedford’s Annual Diwali Gala for the local South Asian community. Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated in the fall by South Asians all over the world. Diwali is also known as the “Festival of Lights,” since clay lamps or diyas are lit during the five-day celebration to signify the victory of good over evil and the ‘destruction’ of negative qualities such as violence, anger, jealousy, greed, fear or suffering.
Click the following link to view Prakhar Gupta’s video from the 2017 Diwali Gala
Typically, Diwali is celebrated with a variety of festive foods being prepared, with homes being lit with diyas to ensure that darkness will not enter any room, and with every doorstep decorated with ‘rangolis’, elaborate decorations made from colored sand, rice or flower petals, to welcome guests.
Starting with a modest crowd of approximately 55 people in 2014, the Bedford Diwali Gala has grown exponentially and attracts families from Bedford and neighboring towns. BDC founder, Anitha Reddy Yajnik says of the event, “it has become one of the most anticipated events of the year, creating a sense of community among local families of South Asian descent and enabling families and children to experience some of the richness of their cultural heritage.”
This year’s sold-out Gala will take place on Saturday, November 10th at St. Michael’s Parish Hall from 6 to 11 pm. The program will feature a number of traditional and modern Indian dance routines by youth and adults, singing, traditional Indian music ensembles and craft activities for young children. The Gala will feature festive Indian fare from Bedford’s Holi Restaurant (click this link to visit Holi’s website) along with a DJ and dance floor, promising a good time for one and all!
Anyone interested in following BDC activities or learning more about the group is encouraged to join the Bedford Desi Club Facebook group ,https://www.facebook.com/groups/BedfordDC/>.
Images from the 2017 Celebration – Double click in each image to see it at full size