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The Student News Site of Prospect High School

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Prospect’s first Diwali week

Diwali week was celebrated at Prospect from Nov. 6 through Nov. 10. It was coordinated by the South Asian Student Association (SASA) club. 

This year Diwali was on Sunday, Nov. 12. Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a holiday celebrated in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. To celebrate the holiday people put up lights on or outside of their homes to symbolize light protecting them from darkness. 

Senior Niharika Salvaji is one of the board members of SASA. She set up her Christmas lights at home a little early to celebrate Diwali with her family. 

“[It’s] almost like Christmas before Christmas,” Salvaji said. “We will have all of our lights out and we’ll start the festive season a little early.”

Salvaji along with other students founded the SASA club this year. After the multicultural fair last year Salvaji and other students wanted to find a way to more specifically represent their South Asian culture. 

Senior Theresa Chiramel, a SASA board member, also wanted to see her culture more represented in the school.

“Over the years we had a lot of interest and were driven to have some sort of community at our school where peers can feel celebrated for their unique South Asian culture,” Chiramel said. 

These students asked Special Education Case Manager Sheela Patel to sponsor their club being that she is the only South Asian faculty member at Prospect. 

“Having students feel like they belong is important and through the club I am able to share in that belonging and expression of our culture,” Patel said. 

Patel and the club wanted to do something for Diwali to represent their culture at Prospect. The students decided to do a week full of fun activities and preparation. 

They had different activities planned throughout the week. Monday was music Monday where they played different South Asian songs. There were four different languages sung throughout the day. They also sold butter chicken and naan, a classic South Asian dish, in the cafeteria. 

Butter chicken and naan are served in the cafeteria during Diwali week. (Photo courtesy of Sheela Patel).

On Tuesday SASA partnered with Knights United to watch the film RRR. This was Chiramel’s favorite activity of the week because she was able to share a Bollywood movie with so many students of different cultures. 

“I was really excited that so many students of other cultural backgrounds came, saw, and also were able to share,” Chiramel said. 

On Wednesday they partnered with Asian Culture Club (ACC) to decorate the entrances outside with rangoli, which is a colorful mural that they do in India traditionally done with powdered limestone and other colored rocks. 

Student getting henna art designs on their hand. (Photo courtesy of Sheela Patel).
Niharika Salvaji drawing henna art on a student during the henna sale on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Sheela Patel).

On Thursday they had the henna sale fundraiser. They set up a table in the commons during the lunches, and members of SASA would do little henna designs. 

Lastly, on Friday morning they partnered with a new club called Dance Diversity to teach a Bollywood dance to students. 

“I was initially interested so that I had those role models within my community at Prospect and to feel like I have that inclusive community at Prospect,” Chiramel said.

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About the Contributor
Mary Robinson, Features Reporter
I’m Mary Robinson and I am a sophomore. This is my first year on staff as a features reporter. I am on the cheerleading team and involved in ASB. Outside of school I like to hang out with my friends and bake.

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