Colleagues at Allies gathered to celebrate Diwali, a Hindu holiday also known as the “Festival of Lights.” The word “diwali” derives from Sanskrit and means “a row of lights.” Festivities include the illumination of lights inside and outside of homes, candles, firecrackers, and diya (clay lamps). The lights symbolize the victory of light over darkness, and it’s a time for gathering with loved ones to celebrate life, a commitment to making positive decisions, and a bright year ahead.
The event at Allies was planned by four members of Allies’ Finance Department: Deepali Shah, Krupaliben Patel, Suseela Ramu, and Varalakshmi Velagala, also known as “Lakshmi.” Lakshmi said, “During Diwali we gather with family and friends to share food, dance, and listen to music. We wanted to share the happiness of the celebration with our coworkers at Allies because they are our extended family.”
The ladies transformed a conference room area into a beautiful space, filled with lights and Indian tapestries in vivid red, orange, and gold colors. They also prepared a table with delicious Indian food that they made at home with love, including samosa (a pastry with a savory filling), paratha (a flatbread), chole (chickpeas), mathiya (a crispy snack), and coconut laddu (a sweet treat).
Allies staff were delighted as they entered the joyful room. The celebration was kicked off by Lakshmi, who proudly shared a brief overview of the Diwali holiday and explained how it is normally celebrated for five days. Each member of the Allies family in attendance also received a handout that provided more information about the holiday’s rich history.
After the sharing session, Deepali, Krupaliben, Suseela and Lakshmi put on lively music and performed traditional dances for the group called Dandiya and Garba. Some staff happily joined them for a few twists and turns, while others looked on and applauded. At the event’s close, Krupaliben lended her artistic talents by decorating the hands of some of the event’s attendees with unique henna designs.
Thank you Deepali, Krupaliben, Suseela, and Lakshmi for including your Allies family in the Diwali celebrations. It was a wonderful learning experience and everyone left with a smile on their face and an uplifted spirit. May we all share a bright year ahead!
To view more photos from this event, visit “Allies NJ” on Facebook.
Allies, Inc. is a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing housing, healthcare, meaningful employment and recreational activities to people with special needs in the communities of their choice. To learn more, visit www.alliesnj.org.
Contact: Nicole Zamerovsky, Director of Communications, Allies, Inc.