Sangam’s 2014 Diwali Show attracted 450 students to the UCF Pegasus Ballroom on Sunday evening.
Sangam, the Indian Student Association at UCF, hosted the yearly event in celebration of the upcoming holiday, Diwali (The Festival of Lights). The organization expected 230 to 275 students to attend the event, but was surprised with a much larger turnout, according to Snigdha Ila, Sangam’s volunteer director.
“I believe this is the biggest Diwali Show success in Sangam’s history,” said Sangam’s President Shivan Vyas.
The event was held for a total of five hours, included various performances and a traditional Indian dinner. Entry to this event was free for UCF students.
According to Vyas, there were performers from all across the university reflecting the various cultures found within India.
“We had eight performances during the event and more than 50 people performing within these performances. We had classical dances such as Garva Raas, modern Bollywood, fusion dances with a mixture of classical and modern, along with dances in peoples’ specific sublanguages such as Punjabi or Telugu,” said Vyas.
Sangam held two days of auditions prior to the event. They also made auditions available to students online as well. Performers were given the opportunity to send in a short clip of their performance, according to Ila.
After the show a full course Indian meal was provided by Aashirwaad, a local Indian restaurant. According to Vyas, the crowds favorite dishes were Paneer Masala, which is a curry based dish, and Naan. Other traditional dishes included Samosa, Malai Fogta and Daal.
Khusbu Patel, Sangam’s Events Director, helped arrange the decorations for the event. According to Vyas, their goal was to create a simple but yet elegant reflection of Diwali by using vibrant colors.
“The decorations on stage used brightly colored fabric to decorate the backdrop with a Sangam banner in the center of the stage,” Ila said.
Overall Ila thought this year’s event was a huge success.
“It was an amazing turnout from the UCF and Indian community, and it was great to see everyone celebrate the culture and festival together.”