By MARY ALDIERI, Student Life Editor
The South Asian Student Association (SASA) of the University of Michigan– Dearborn coordinated and hosted the Diwali-Eid Utsav event along with the Indian Graduate Student Association to showcase their student association in great hopes of giving the students, faculty and staff of the campus a taste of their culture and what their student association represents.
The event was held on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 4:30 – 9:30 p.m. in the University Center.
With SASA being formed for the first time this semester, they plan to host many more events that represent their cultural values and traditions.
The event started off with introducing the two important holidays of South Asia: Diwali and Eid.
Followed by guessing games, Bollywood dancing, cultural music and singing, the event was fun-packed with all the cultural entities it had to offer. It was for everyone to enjoy alongside getting to know the fun, beautiful culture.
The keynote speaker of the night was Dr. Anil Kumar. Dr. Kumar is an urologist of South Asian descent who is running for congress. He came in to talk about cultural diversity and what it means to be a part of a community with such diverse values.
Kumar says, “What caught my eye was the combination of Diwali and Eid; and it speaks a lot in terms of how culturally diverse you are and how much you are in terms of inclusion. As you know, Diwali is a festivity of triumph of good over evil. So what is good and what is evil? The evil in us sometimes is exclusivity.”
Kumar then goes on to speak about Eid and how it is culturally combined with Diwali. He says, “I really want to go into the combination of Diwali and Eid, because I have not seen that growing up even in India; as secular of a country we are: we celebrate Diwali, we give sweets to our Muslim friends..” He then talks about how Muslims do the same in the holiday of Eid and how beautiful the two cultures are combined here, and also how it is important to introduce the different cultures here in America for a more diverse unity.