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Diwali Festival of Lights and Cultural Culinary Celebration

Diwali

DiwaliDiwali is a national holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Guyana and many other countries. It is one of the most important festivals of the year in which families celebrate by performing traditional activities together in their homes. The Faculty Student Association (FSA) and CulinArt will host an authentic celebration to honor this festival involving cultural and culinary activities. 

Diwali, the festival of lights, celebrates Lord Rama’s eventual defeat of the evil spirit Ravana and his triumphant return to his home after 14 years of exile. It is called the “festival of lights” since it involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.  

It is a festival of new beginnings where the families clean their homes and workplaces to help bring good fortune, decorate them with clay lamps and Rangoli to welcome Goddess Laxmi for puja (making an offering of flowers or fruit to an image of a Goddess), followed by feasts and firework festivities. Celebrants wear new clothes throughout the festival and exchange gifts, sweets and snacks with family members and friends. 

“The festival of Diwali brings people together, and I am happy to be a part of the menu and event planning to create a beautiful celebration with performances, lights, lamps and a delicious Diwali feast to bring joy and happiness to the Stony Brook community through these festivities,” explained Kenny Desai, FSA marketing and communications assistant.  

For many Indians, Diwali is a meatless holiday. The food is vegetarian, as nonviolence (ahimsa) is a principle of major Indian religions, and by not killing an animal to make the meal, it is considered pure. 

This year’s week-long celebration includes lavish Diwali meals at dining locations throughout campus.

Tuesday, November 2 

Dine-in Dinner at Chef’s Table at East Side and International Market at West Side includes Butter Chicken, Aloo Saag with Basmati Rice and Naan. 

Wednesday, November 3

Dine-in Dinner at Chef’s Table at East Side and International Market at West Side includes Vegetable Biryani and Chicken Biryani with Raita.

Thursday, November 4 — Main Diwali Day

Dine-in Dinner at Chef’s Table at East Side and International Market at West Side includes Aloo Matar, Samosa Chaat, Papad with Basmati Rice and Naan. Stop by the Rooted vegan station for Curried Black Lentils (Daal Bukhara). Enjoy rice pudding with cinnamon and raisins for dessert. 

After 5 pm at East Side Dine-in, the SBU Bhangra Team and SBU Junoon will perform as part of the celebration! The Hindu Student Council will offer a pop-up table where students can decorate their own clay lamps.

Tadka, Essence of India at Roth Food Court will feature Paneer Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice and Naan, and Papad. 

Friday, November 5 — First day of the New Year for Hindus 

Dine-in Dinner at Chef’s Table at East Side and International Market at West Side includes Chana Masala, Aloo Tikki with Cilantro and Tamarind Chutney, with Basmati Rice and Naan.

Saturday, November 6

Dine-in Dinner at Chef’s Table at East Side and International Market at West Side includes Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice and Naan. Stop by the Rooted vegan station for Curried Black Lentils (Daal Bukhara).

Teaching Kitchen

There will also be a Teaching Kitchen program on Wednesday, November 3, at 1 pm at Roth Food Court hosted by CulinArt Regional Controller Nidhi Nandwani with assistance from Kenny Desai who will cook Aloo Tikki, a popular Indian street food snack made with boiled potatoes, aromatic spices and herbs. Aloo is the Hindi word for potatoes and Tikki means patty. Authentic toppings will be available from Tadka, Essence of India. 

Another Teaching Kitchen program will be offered on Thursday, November 4, at 1 pm where FSA Executive Director Van Sullivan and Chef Kevin Kenny will make Saag Paneer. Enter to win a seat at the Teaching Kitchen programs @sbufsa

Feast and have fun with loved ones and count your blessings on this special holiday. For more information about the Diwali celebration, please visit the Campus Dining website and follow SBU Eats on Facebook or Instagram.

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