Bollywood dancing, Indian cuisine and spiritual growth are all elements of Diwali, the Hindu "Festival of Lights."
This cultural event will be held on UT's campus Sunday in the UC Auditorium from noon to 4 p.m.
The holiday began Nov. 3 and is part of a tradition based on the Hindu god Rama and his return to his people after 14 years of exile. He was greeted with an illumination of lights and explosions in the sky. Diwali essentially signifies the rise of good over evil and is a time for people's re-awakenings.
Diwali is a time for Hindus to get together and celebrate, but it's also a time to introduce others to Indian culture. The Indian holiday is recognized across the globe by a large amount of other countries besides India.
"We'll have a good turnout amongst the Indian students, but we would really like to show people of other nationalities what it's all about," said Jagadish Cherukuri, a graduate student who is a part of the 12-member council that put the event together.
The International House and the Central Programming Council worked together to fund the event.
Throughout the festival will be an array of Indian cuisines served to visitors, as well as Indian dancing that ranges from classical tradition to the modern day Bollywood form. In terms of style, classical dancing involves a great use of the hands and feet as a form of expression in a religious sense, whereas Bollywood dancing is more modernized with Western features of dancing, but has traces of classical elements. Live Indian music will be performed to go along with a henna tattoo stall booth.
Last year, Diwali had a turnout of 150 people, and this year the sponsors are expecting even more.
The significance of meditation is something new that has been added to the event.
"That light, mentioned for the festival, actually represents the inner spiritual light of a human being," said Vineet Khullar, a graduate student who is helping put together the event. "We're trying to put something in on meditation by perhaps showing a small video on the techniques and how to help the spiritual progress of a human."
Admission is free for all students and faculty; as for attendees of the general public, the cost is $3. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event and an authentic Indian meal can be purchased for about $5.