Four Front and the South Asian Student Association look to bring light to MU during dark times with Diwali celebration
“To show solidarity with other cultures shows that we are willing to get past some of these issues that are plaguing our campus,” senior Alanna Diggs said. “When it comes to communities of color it shows that we are allies of each other and that we are no
Nov. 10, 2015
The climate on campus these past few weeks has been cloudy, to say the least. But Four Front and the South Asian Student Association are coming together to shed some much needed light on campus by bringing the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, to MU.
Diwali is a holiday that celebrates good overpowering evil. Traditionally, it is celebrated for five days, in which special lamps called “diyas” are lighted and used to adorn households to represent the light of knowledge. Throughout India, there are many different versions of the story of how Diwali originated — however, they all share the same theme of good trumping evil.
Co-Chairwoman of Four Front Alanna Diggs said Diwali is a time for her to practice solidarity.
“Diwali is a time for me to show solidarity for people who have a religious affiliation that is not my own, a culture that is not my own,” Diggs said. “It’s a time for me to become more educated and celebrate with friends.”
Four Front is a student organization that is run through the Multicultural Center. The focus of the organization is to reach out to students on campus and provide support for those who don’t generally have those sources of comfort, Diggs said.
“We work on providing support for students who are marginalized on campus,” Diggs said. “All the students with marginalized voices are under Four Front and we act as their amplifier.”
SASA Vice President Anjali Desai is also looking forward to celebrating Diwali this year and wants everyone to know that the event is open to all.
“Every year, it’s a ton of fun and it’s great way to meet new friends,” Desai said. “Also, just because it’s the South Asian Student Association doesn’t mean we exclude anyone. We include everyone.”
SASA’s ultimate goal is to create a greater awareness of South Asian countries, Desai said, so that more people are informed of the smaller nations in the region.
Inclusion is a common goal for both organizations this school year.
Diggs believes that Mizzou does not do a strong job at showcasing the different races that are affected by the racial tension.
“Mizzou can be a very black-and-white race relations issue, when in reality, even though the numbers are small, we do have other students on our campus who are not black or white,” Diggs said. “It’s important to show them that they we do care about them and that there presence is real and that they do exist on this campus.”
Desai also agrees with Diggs about the lack of attention on other minority groups on campus.
“You do have to dig a little deeper to find out there are more minority groups on campus,” Desai said.
The Diwali celebration will take place Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at Stotler Lounge in Memorial Union. There will be food, henna, a make your own diya table and a presentation about Diwali.
“To show solidarity with other cultures shows that we are willing to get past some of these issues that are plaguing our campus,” Diggs said. “When it comes to communities of color, it shows that we are allies of each other and that we are not wrapped up in our marginalization to celebrate with each other and to show each other that we do support each other.”