November 5 brought singing, dancing, and delicious food to the Indian community of Ridgefield. This year's Diwali celebration was at Ridgefield's very own Rec Center.
Diwali commemorates the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness; it is commonly referred to as the festival of lights. After two years of virtual events, over 30 families gathered in person to celebrate the 15th anniversary of this community occasion.
Guests were greeted with gifts and beautiful handmade decorations. People were dressed in traditional Indian clothing, brightly colored and adorned with jewels, an excited feeling in the air.
The party began with the Indian and American national anthems, sung by a group of young children and a mother-and-daughter duo. Next up were the cultural performances. Children played the piano and guitar and danced to traditional and modern Bollywood songs. The finale was a vocal performance from a group of gifted women who sang six different tunes, each in a different Indian language. Every performer had worked immensely hard on their craft, and their performances demonstrated their prowess and mastery.
An aromatic spread of delicious Indian dishes was brought out, catered by Navaratna in Stamford. Simultaneously, the children took to the craft table, making colorful paper diyas.
Games and dancing followed the completion of the meal. Spirited singing and pounding music filled the air as people of all ages took to the dance floor.
Diwali is not simply a time of celebration; it is also a time to demonstrate kindness and gratitude. This year, a fraction of the proceeds collected from tickets was donated to RVNAhealth to show the Ridgefield Indian community's appreciation for our healthcare workers.
The Diwali party brings a small piece of home to the community. Though everyone is far from their homes and families in India, they have banded together to create light, celebrate their heritage, and pass on their traditions to future generations. As a high school senior myself, I look to this event to teach me and my friends about our culture. Though we will soon all be in different places, we were reminded that we will always have a family in Ridgefield. These are the memories we will look back on fondly.