The Manthan - Indian Students' Association and the Indian American Association groups hosted their biggest event of the year, the "Diwali Celebration."
The event, put on every year to reflect on and share Indian culture at UT, consisted of skits, dances and authentic Indian cuisine. It took place in the UC Auditorium on Sunday.
Diwali is an Indian celebration which commemorates the winter harvest and falls on the day of a new moon. Marking the win of good over evil, the day of Diwali is devoted to worshiping Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth who will bring money to any household which has small lights lit for her.
Alia Ally, junior in logistics, is a member of the Indian American Association group on campus.
"We just do a lot of philanthropy events and volunteer work and we just really want to bring people together from the same cultural backgrounds," Ally said. "We also have other people who attend mainly just to promote awareness about our culture."
The event welcomed people who share the Indian culture and people who don't, and the main theme of the night was accepting and acknowledging different cultures.
The event, which lasted around three hours, consisted of comedic skits about Indian/American pop culture and authentic Diya and Bollywood dances.
Nidha Shah, freshman in biochemistry and molecular biology, is a member of the Indian American Association as well. Shah got the chance to perform in the Bollywood dance performance.
"We've worked really hard on the dance and we've practiced a lot, too, so we're excited to perform it," Nidha Shah said.
Sky Shah, sophomore in kinesiology, also performed in the Bollywood dance performance.
"We hope to spread the word of Diwali to the audience and we hope they learn something from this event because it's really informative as well," Sky Shah said.
The intermission, which lasted an hour, was devoted to the lunch and authentic Indian cuisine provided by members of Manthan. The cuisine, which consisted of chicken curry, alu gobi, chole and gulab jamoon, consisted of dishes commonly served during large festivities in India.
Ally said she appreciates the holiday even though she does not celebrate it.
"I actually never celebrated Diwali before, usually holidays are similar, but with Diwali there is more emphasis on the actual holiday than giving presents and stuff like that," Ally said. "In India it's more of a community celebration, it's not so much as show, and it's more of a holiday when people come together as a community."
The Indian American Association is currently planning an event similar to the "Diwali Celebration" called the "Holy Show" on Mar. 8, without the help of the Manthen organization. Ally said she hopes that this event will encourage more people to come to the one during the spring semester.
"If students just pair up with different organizations and get involved with sororities and fraternities and bring them to our events, there might be a bigger crowd and more people who are acknowledging different cultures," Ally said.