January 1, 2013 > Inter-Faith Education Series highlights Diwali
Inter-Faith Education Series highlights Diwali
Submitted By Krishnaswamy Narasimhan
An inter- Faith education series sponsored by Acacia Creek, a retirement community in Union City, Odyssey Hospice, Pleasanton and Onlok Life ways, Fremont began with a celebration of Diwali. The purpose behind this program is to educate people of various communities about events of other faiths and engender appreciation of them, promoting communal harmony. The series is proposed to include a series of events like Indian festival DIWALI, Jewish-PURIM, EASTER, OBON of the Buddhists and finally THE Muslim festival of RAMADAN.
The first in the series, Diwali was celebrated at Acacia Creek on November 7th.
Visitors were welcomed with a display of Hindu Gods, illuminated with an array of lights signifying the festival of lights. The event started with a welcome speech by Ms.Martha K.Nelson of Odyssey Hospice who talked about the significance of this series and the Hindu festival of Diwali. An invocation song -Lord Ganesha by baby Shivani - and an enchanting song of Goddess Lakshmi were led by Ms.Vydehi Sudharsan, an Indian classical music teacher.
Following a Diwali lunch, Ms.Martha Nelson introduced Mr.Krishnaswamy Narasimhan, Community Ambassador for Seniors in Fremont and acknowledged his help in the conduct of the event. Mr.Krishnaswamy thanked the organizers and also introduced the main speaker, Prof.Manzur Ali, who spoke about Diwali, the triumph of good over evil. The festival of lights is intended to kindle the light within every person, he explained, which should result in compassion towards all beings in the world ushering in a peaceful community.
A demonstration of Indian Punjabi dance, Bhangra, by Ms.Raveena and many people from the audience added to the joyous mood of the event.
Ms.Martha Nelson of Odyssey Hospice, Ms.Bairavi Kothare, outreach specailist and Ms.Mary Jane Hodges, Community Relations, Acacia Creek explained their organizations.