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City of Lights celebrates Festival of Lights on Nov 3

City of Lights celebrates Festival of Lights on Nov 3
October 10
11:57 2018

Ashok Nair

CHICAGO: The City of Aurora’s Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board (IACOAB) has organized its 5th Diwali celebration at the Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora on Saturday November 3.

The evening will feature Indian folk dances, music, food and a display of ethnic apparel and jewelry. The event will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display. This event is co-sponsored by MIMIT HealthCare and Patel Brothers.

Past events have attracted between 4000 to 5000 people. Organizers expect to do one better this time. Among those expected to attend this year’s celebration is the Mayor of Aurora Richard Irvin, Aurora City Council, Neighboring City Mayors and Illinois and US legislators.

Diwali, (the Eastern equivalent of Christmas) is celebrated by millions of Hindus in India, and other countries including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Trinidad.

The festival is also a big event among the Hindu expatriates living in North America and Europe and is the community’s biggest season of shopping. The festival spread over several days heralds the return of King Rama and celebrates the triumph of Good over Evil or Light over Darkness.

The IACOAB’s mission is to embrace, preserve and promote the heritage and contributions of Indian Americans while promoting civic engagement and encouraging Indian Americans to increase their involvement in Aurora’s growth.

Indians are the fastest growing immigrant community in Aurora, the second largest city in the state of Illinois.

In 2017 the IACOAB established the Swami Vivekananda scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to college-bound high school seniors who have demonstrated exemplary community service.  It will be recognizing the five recipients of the $1000 scholarship at the Diwali event. Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu monk introduced Hinduism to the West with a resounding speech at the first Parliament of World Religions, in Chicago in 1893.

Recently, the IACOAB organized an interactive Public Awareness and Civic Education discussion on depression and mental health problems among the young, in cooperation with Sanjeevani, (an organization which assists people with mental health and domestic violence issues).

For more information about the board’s Diwali celebration, please go to www.facebook.com/IACOAB/events. For more information about the board, visit:www.aurora-il.org/IACOAB

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