The India Center Celebrates Diwali with Orange County Community


On Oct. 17, 2022, the India Center celebrated Diwali with Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings at the Orange County Administration building in downtown Orlando.  It was the second year the India Center collaborated with the Asian Cultural Association, the Orange County Asian Committee, FusionFest and Demings to present “Diwali: The Festival of Lights Celebration”.

Diwali or Deepavali is also known as the festival of lights.  This celebration of knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and light over darkness is celebrated by the Indian diaspora around the world. Various faiths, including Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists celebrate the holiday. Many families clean their homes to prepare for the holiday and decorate with oil lamps.

The formal ceremony on Oct. 17 included the lighting of a large diya, or oil lamp, by Demings, who remarked that the festival was a time to “celebrate our differences, but at the same time we acknowledge that we have a lot of similarities as well.” Children from the community presented community leaders with trays that contained traditional Diwali gifts, including rice, a light and ladoo, an Indian sweet.  The celebration featured dance and music by the Asian Cultural Association.  UCF’s Knights Khayal singing group also performed the classical song “Maha Ganapathim.”  Demings presented community organizations with certificates at the end of the ceremony to recognize their contributions to Orange County.

“I am grateful we brought the community together for these festivities. The music and dance performances, diya lighting and presentation of gifts provided an opportunity for the community to get a glimpse of Diwali celebrations,” said Leila Chacko, director of public affairs for the India Center.

You can watch a replay of the event here and a recap here.


Comments are closed.