Atlanta, GA: Over 400 people gathered recently for a joyous celebration of Diwali at Ashiana Banquet Hall in Global Mall, Norcross, GA. Diwali, the ‘Festival of Lights’ is a time of great celebration and joy in India and South Asia and the Greater Atlanta Punjabi Society along with the Indian American Cultural Association organized this annual on Friday, October 24.
Diwali is one of the most celebrated events in the Hindu calendar. The festival gets its name from the row of clay lamps that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects them from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as Christmas is to Christians.
At the beginning, there was a prayer service with Lakshmi ji aarti puja by the ladies from the community. The cultural program included traditional Punjabi folk dances, Bollywood medleys, and fusion dances. It was an evening to enjoy the splendor, decoration, and enticing solo and group performances along with a plateful of delicious appetizers and a drink of your choice!
The program had great sponsors, raffle items and the final prize of $1500 credit towards a diamond ring was eagerly awaited by the patrons. The DJ had foot tapping Indian numbers – Punjabi and Bollywood songs which the audience lapped it up and danced until past midnight. A lavish spread of sumptuous North Indian food and a grand stall ofIndiasweets had everyone wanting for more. AshChandler, an all-in-one entertainer was a surprise item in the program and icing on the cake (nee Indian sweets!)
Ambassador Ajit Kumar, the Consular General atAtlantagraced the occasion. In his brief address, he said this was his fourth year attending the Diwali inAtlanta, and he is always encouraged by the audience response, the dazzling performances, and great organization. He was happy to note that the Indian culture continues to grow strong with younger generation participating with enthusiasm.
It was a festive atmosphere and everyone had a great time wishing each other Happy Diwali, enjoying the program, delicious food, and a very well organized function.