Diwali is the Hindu "festival of lights". The name of the festival comes from the Sanskrit word dipavali, meaning row of lights. Hence our candlelit dinner here tonight.
Different parts of India associate different myths and legends with Diwali, but common to all is a celebration of the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. It is seen as a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill, and a celebration of the many joys of life. A festival that celebrates these universal values and ideals is relevant to us all.
The light of the candles represents hope, faith, wisdom, and goodness. We find these qualities in our families, friendships, relationships, and in our community here in Hall. That is the wonderful message Diwali gives us.
So, please, enjoy the food, the music, the dancing, and videos that are all coming up. And let's raise a toast to light, hope, and friendship.