The fourth annual Diwali Festival of Lights offers dinner and a traditional dance presentation

South Asian Society student group brings one of the culture's most important holidays to the Xavier campus | November 7, 2008

Xavier’s South Asian Society student group is presenting the fourth annual Diwali Festival: The Evolution of Dance on campus for a night of traditional Indian dishes, dance and prayer in celebration of one of South Asia’s most important holidays.

The event takes place on Friday, Nov. 21, at the Gallagher Student Center Theatre. It offers a complete Indian dinner at 5:45 p.m. The show, which begins at 7:00 p.m., presents the evolution of traditional South Asian dance to its modern version that still retains fundamental cultural values. From Classical to Bollywood to Fusion, each amazing dance includes vibrant colors and lively beats.

For South Asians, Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is a time of celebration, reflection and prayer. Previous shows have demonstrated what Diwali is, its significance and how it is celebrated throughout India. This year, the South Asian Society wants to showcase Indian culture through the medium of dance. Even though the dances have evolved over time, each still reveals the traditional elements of Indian dancing while also demonstrating aspects of Indian culture.

Xavier’s South Asian Society is performing four dances and an Interfaith prayer. There also is a guest performance by Miami University and Xavier’s Filipino American Cultural Enlightenment Society (FACES).

“We are so grateful for the continued enthusiasm and support that we have received from our Xavier family and the surrounding Cincinnati community,” says Dhwani Mehta, president of the South Asian Society. “We hope that through cultural events like this one that we are able to not only entertain but also promote Indian culture through the medium of dance.”

Tickets can be purchased beginning Monday, Nov. 17, until the day of the show on Friday, Nov. 21, at the Gallagher Center from 11:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. each day. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $8 for Xavier students when purchased in advance with a Xavier All Card ID. Please call 248-207-5655 or e-mail for more information or for tickets.