By Joseph M. Kainady, Indian, The NANYANG MBA Participant, Intake 2011
Being a part of an international cohort of MBA students, one will always have an opportunity to learn a new culture or share your own to your classmates and this is exactly what happened during the last quarter of last year – my fellow Indian classmates and I had the opportunity to share a part of our culture – The Diwali or known as Festival of Lights.
As the festival fell on a very busy period for us (exams week and trimester 1 break), we celebrated Diwali in November. Diwali is one of the most important festival in India – it is important for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains but it is celebrated by everyone.
Gathering at the MBA lounge, my classmates were welcomed with Indian folk art pattern or Rangoli and diyas (oil lamps), which set the festive mood. The celebration started off with a Pooja ceremony, a religious ritual performed by the Hindus as an offering to various deities, distinguished persons or special guests. It lasted around 15 minutes and was conducted by an NTU PhD student. Our classmates were amazed by the ritual, as Cheng Zeng, from China, puts it, “I was amazed to see the versatility in the PhD student conducting the Pooja in such a professional manner.”
Rangoli or Indian folk art pattern welcoming my classmates upon entering the MBA lounge