Hindus Celebrate Sacred, Secular "Festival of Lights"

November 8, 2008

Author: Bryce McDevitt

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer


Many in the Indian community in the Philadelphia area are celebrating Diwali, a Hindu religious festival that is also a secular holiday, a time to take pride in Indian culture and identity.

"Anyone can walk in and really get an immersion into Indian culture, and learn about Diwali and what it means," said Jennifer Au, director of grants and international programs for the YMCA of the Upper Main Line in Berwyn. "It's our way of promoting global awareness."

Diwali is the most widely observed holiday in India, Au said.

The Lionville Community YMCA, a branch of the Upper Main Line Y, hosted its Diwali celebration last night, featuring arts and crafts for children, fireworks, gift-giving, food, music and dancing.