Diwali SA on Nov. 7 Celebrates Indian Culture and Sister City Relationship

Submitted by rudyarispe on October 27, 2020 - 10:30am

The culture, food, music, and arts of India will be celebrated during the 12th Annual Diwali SA Festival of Lights starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 and right from the comfort of your home as this year’s free, cultural event is presented virtually.

Co-hosted by the City of San Antonio and Anuja SA, Diwali SA commemorates San Antonio’s Sister City relationship with Chennai, India. Anuja SA’s mission is to foster relationships between San Antonio and Chennai in the areas of Arts and Culture, Medicine, Education, Business and Commerce, and Sports and Recreation. The festival is partially funded by the City of San Antonio's Department of Arts and Culture and the City’s coordination is facilitated through the Global Engagement Office under the Economic Development Department.

“During a year that has come with many significant challenges, Diwali 2020 reminds us to celebrate light over darkness. I commend Anuja SA for their innovation and commitment to ensuring that San Antonio residents are able to enjoy this massively popular festival in a safe, virtual format,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

Diwali is the Indian “festival of lights,” a holiday that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and Diwali SA allows people to learn about the culture, food, history, and traditions of India.

Guests will have plenty of activities to enjoy as they experience the culture and traditions of India, including yoga, Zumba Bollywood, kolam (a form of art using rice flour to draw intricate designs in doorways), Indian cooking and music.

Other highlights and demonstrations include henna, trunk shows and saree/turban wrapping and live painting. The virtual event will include messages from Mayor Nirenberg and San Antonio City Council members and County Judge Nelson Wolff and Bexar County Commissioners.

“Although we could have chosen to cancel, we felt this is a time that people need something to look forward to,” Anuja SA President Kausi Subramaniam said. “We decided to provide our guests a chance to look back and reminisce about past Diwali SA festivals and enjoy this year’s festival in a unique way. It’s going to be different, but we hope to engage and entertain everyone just the same.”

During the virtual festival, online attendees can purchase Indian food, clothing, jewelry and more from vendors who will take online orders. The day concludes with a professionally produced video including nostalgic footage of past years’ Diwali SA festivals followed by DJ Lakha who will livestream the top Bollywood hits directly into guests’ homes.

Guests can participate at www.DiwaliSA.com.

“This year has been a challenge for most people and Anuja SA is committed to providing people across the world something to look forward to during these difficult times,” Suhail Arastu, Anuja SA Arts & Culture Chair, said.

Sponsors of Diwali SA are City of San Antonio, H-E-B, NuStar, Valero, Marathon Petroleum and Southwest Diagnostics. For more festival information and updates, visit www.DiwaliSA.com or call (833) 426-8527.