Diwali is the festival of lights. In India, it is also a festival of sharing the joyous spirit, celebrating with our friends and extended families. The India Society has been sharing the Diwali spirit with our wider greater Worcester community for the last 8 years with a unique Diwali celebration at the beautiful Worcester Art Museum.
This Sunday, the museum was buzzing with activity, welcoming a record crowd for this year’s Diwali at WAM.
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India Society President Puneet Kohli and past president Barin Bando kicked off the ceremony with a traditional lighting of the lamp in the museum’s historic Renaissance court. This was followed by carefully curated cultural program from our leading dance and music schools that showcased the many classical and folk dances of India including Kathak, Kuchiudi, Baratanatyam and Odissi. The program also introduced the audience to Indian classical music performances in both the Hindustani and Carnatic styles.
“An abundance of energy, enough to charge the whole block, families and couples alike engage and delight in the show of our celebration!” said an enthusiastic visitor.
The finale was a procession of dhol, tasha and lejhim by ISW’s own team which left the audience clapping, dancing and wanting more.
There was of course a lot more activity inside all parts of the museum.
Children could enjoy many activities including about India at Carolyn Passey's elaborate interactive activity station, learning Chess with volunteers from ISW Sports team, making sand art rangolis, Madhubani art coasters, a giant Lego lantern and more. Many children and some adults with gleaming smiles proudly displayed their hands with intricate Henna tattoos.
A special thanks to Troy Thompson of Troy B Thompson photography and the founder of www.noevilproject.org who kindly captured and shared many memorable pictures of this event. Watch for more pictures from Troy here soon.
Indian artists Sushmita Bando, Sunanda Sahay, Madhu Thube, Neha Ujlayan and Rishi Gandhi showcased their original art in various forms for museum patrons.
Finally – the museum café, in partnership with Bawarchi of Framingham, served delectable Indian fare.
“ISW now has many Diwali programs, but this one is my personal favorite.” said event chair Arathi Cowlagi. “It allows us to showcase Indian art in all its glory and to bring the light of Diwali to our whole community! What a perfect way to start the holiday season!”