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The University of Southampton
Social Sciences Faculty International Office

FSS Diwali Event

Published: 3 November 2022

On 3rd November, the Faculty International Office of Social Sciences hosted their own Diwali event for Southampton students, staff and special guests.

The event invited a mix of both South Asian and other international guests to celebrate this traditional Hindu festival of lights, and shine as a beacon of global solidarity and peace. The poor weather throughout the day did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the audience as close to 300 people attended the event in total, including Deputy Head of Commonwealth Secretariat, Mr. Suresh Yadav, Vice-Chair of University Council, Ambassador Dame Judith Macgregor and her husband Ambassador John Macgregor.

The event, hosted by Faculty of Social Sciences Associate Dean International Sabu Padmadas, took place in Garden Court on Highfield campus and included food and light refreshments provided by Sanjha. The audience were also treated to spectacular performances by Amruta Bagwe and the University of Southampton Indian Society, each providing a dance for the event, as well as singing from Dr Aishwarya Deshpande and Ananya Pandey. The performances even inspired some students from China to take to the stage and sing an impromptu song, expressing their joy and appreciation in being invited to this cultural celebration. The evening concluded with dancing from attendees to various Indian songs with everyone free to join in the celebration of the event.

A big thanks to all who attended the event and made it a success, with a special thanks to those who spoke and performed on the night, both planned and improvised. It was a highly successful event and one filled with fun and laughter alongside the cultural appreciation. Amruta Bagwe said “overall, it was a wonderful experience, a memorable night. So, keep organising more of these events with cultural exchanges and engagement with the international community.”

Senior Executive Officer Song Utz said "What a joyful Diwali celebration we had at University of Southampton! What a pleasure to listen to the insightful speeches from our honorary guests, Deputy Head of Commonwealth Secretariat Mr. Suresh Yadav and Ambassador John Macgregor, and to enjoy the wonderful student performances.

Thanks to my brilliant colleagues Amarjit Singh, Sabu Padmadas, Sam Woolway and Daisy Lauren-Sherburn for organising this wonderful event.

There are periods in our lives when we encounter unspeakably horrific times, unjust accusations, illness, bereavement, war and death. Let’s follow the light in our hearts, and trust that truth and kindness will always prevail, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.  To quote a line from my favourite Chinese poem: '黑夜给了我黑色的眼睛,我却用它去寻找光明 - Dark night gives me dark eyes, with them I seek the light!'  

Happy Diwali!"

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