Darden Celebrates Diwali


The Darden School of Business celebrated India’s five-day “Festival of Lights,” called Diwali, at First Coffee this morning.

“We welcome you to join us in this celebration at Darden of lights, colors and the victory of good over evil,” said Second Year student Sameer Sayed, who is from Mumbai.

According to Hindu mythology, the festival celebrates the homecoming of Rama, King of Ayodhya, after 14 years in exile following his victory over Ravana, the evil King of Lanka. The people of Ayodhya welcomed their victorious king by lighting the city with rows of lamps or deepas.

“During Diwali, Indians display candles or diyas to signify the brightness of all that is good within an individual,” said Sayed.

At the Darden celebration, the Asian Business Club offered traditional Indian snacks, and Darden Professors Robert Carraway and Peter Rodriguez lit candles.

“In the business world, many Indian companies begin their financial year on the first day of Diwali,” said Sayed.

Also announced at the event were the contest winners from this year’s International Food Festival, which took place on Saturday evening, October 3, and was sponsored by Mead Westvaco and the Tayloe Murphy International Center.

“We had 650 people at the event,” said Second Year student Fabio Costa, president of the International Business Society. “There were four contests and six judges.”

Japan took the “Costume” category, while India and Pakistan were awarded first place for “Decoration.” Texas, which served barbecue ribs, and Brazil, which offered risotto, tied for first place in the “Food” category. As for “Performance,” Korea and Africa shared the award.

“The Africans presented a belly dancer,” said Costa. “The Koreans karate-chopped wood. It was fantastic evening.”

Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business improves society by developing principled leaders in the world of practical affairs.

For additional information, contact communication@darden.virginia.edu.

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