Annual Events - Fall


Hover your cursor over the boxes below to learn more about each event. Have fun exploring!






GANDHI DAY

GANDHI DAY

In honor of Mahatma Gandhi, this day is dedicated to service in our local community. Join HSO and your fellow Columbia students as we take a few hours out of this day to celebrate Gandhi's life and principles.
After having breakfast in the morning, students break up into groups and embark upon various volunteering projects across Manhattan. Past projects have included building a library for children, cooking a hot meal for the homeless, park cleanups, and mentoring young students. Come with your friends and have fun while making a positive difference in the community. Be on the lookout for project signups which will be in early October!


TIME OF YEAR

TIME OF YEAR

Early October, as close to Gandhiji's birthday as possible.



COLLAB-
ORATORS

COLLAB-
ORATORS

Co-hosted with Club Zamana (website).




GARBA

GARBA

Garba is a fast-paced and brilliantly colorful Gujurati folk dance in which men and women dance in concentric circles around a lamp, which represents life as the fetus in a womb, or an image of Goddess Durga, the feminine form of divinity. The rings of dancers revolve in circles, which represents the cyclical nature of time in human life.




DANDIYA RAAS

DANDIYA RAAS

Raas is a traditional folk dance from Vrindavan, India that harkens to the stories of Krishna's Rasa Lila, or playful dance, with his beloved Radha and the gopis, Krishna's cowherd-girl devotees. Dandiya raas involves patterned dancing with one or two sticks in circles or lines with steps that can grow dizzyingly complex.



TIME OF YEAR

TIME OF YEAR

Late October, as close to the actual Navaratri as possible.



COLLAB-
ORATORS

COLLAB-
ORATORS

Columbia's Raas team (facebook group).







NAVARATRI

NAVARATRI

Navaratri is a nine-night (nava = "nine", ratri = "night") festival during which the nine forms of the Divine Mother are celebrated. The beginning of spring and autumn are considered to be important solar junctions in the cycle of life, and Navaratri is celebrated on these junction dates according to the lunar calendar.
At Columbia, we celebrate Navaratri by hosting a full Indian dinner followed by garba and dandiya raas dancing taught to newcomers by CU Raas, Columbia's dandiya raas team. So come, eat, enjoy, and dance the night away!




GOLU

GOLU

Golu, or Bommala Koluvu, is a toy festival celebrated during Navratri in Southern India, and is most common in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, as well as in some Tamil communities in Sri Lanka. The Golu is an exhibition of various dolls and figurines in odd numbered tiers (padis), and represents the divine presence of the Goddesses Saraswati, Parvati and Laxmi.







DIWALI

DIWALI

Diwali, or Deepavali (meaning "of the lights") is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India and in Hindu culture. For Hindus, the day marks the return of Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. The lights represent both the celebration of his return and the triumph of light over darkness, goodness over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
Diwali is also celebrated by other religious sects such as Jainism and Sikhism, and is often co-hosted by Columbia's Jain students organization, Ahimsa, and Columbia's Sikh students organization, Sewa.


TIME OF YEAR

TIME OF YEAR

Our Diwali celebration is in mid-November.



COLLAB-
ORATORS

COLLAB-
ORATORS

Sewa (profile) and Ahimsa (website).





VIDEO

VIDEO

It has become a hallmark of HSO's Diwali celebration to include a short comedic film explaining the roots and modern traditions of Diwali. HSO has an enormous amount of fun writing the script, filming, and editing this video every year, and the characters seem to live on even past the fade to black...I'm looking at you, Raj aka Roger aka Rager?




DANCE

DANCE

As with any great event, the night of food and culture culminates on the dance floor with the lights turned down and the music turned loud. All music styles from bhangra and Bollywood to popular American and unpopular American are played, and you might just see people getting creative with the tea lights...




BOOTHS

BOOTHS

A range of booths spanning the arts, games, and entertainment are set up for attendees--so come have your name written in Marathi on a grain of rice, or leave your wish for the new year as a leaf on a huge tree; take a photo in front of a huge palace door, or leave with your hands covered in beautiful Mehendi art!