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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 20, 2006

Indian Student Alliance Celebrates Diwali Dec. 2 At Hancher

The University of Iowa's Indian Student Alliance (ISA) is hosting a cultural event in celebration of the South Asian festival, Diwali. This year's event, titled "Ek Chamakti Raat" or "A Glittering Night," will be held in Hancher Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.

Diwali is one of the largest UI cultural events each fall; attendance at this year's show is expected to exceed 1,500 visitors. Tickets are $15 general admission/ $25 reserved and are available at the Hancher box office or online at

"Diwali is one of the most glamorous and widely celebrated holidays throughout the myriad cultures of South Asia," says ISA President Sri Akella. "Colloquially known as the 'Festival of Lights,' its radiance crosses boundaries and permeates cultures to create a sense of communal unity and an environment of joyous festivity." Diwali celebrations at the UI are no exception, as the event consistently attracts more than 1,000 people, one of the largest intercultural audiences in the state.  

This year's show will be preceded by a reception with catered Indian appetizers from the Exotic India restaurant. The show will feature a range of cultural performances from classical Indian music to modern Bollywood dance. Student and local dance troupes will be joined by nationally renowned artists and dance teams.

The ISA's Diwali show has been a cultural institution at the UI for 15 years. This year marks the first time that the show will be held at Hancher Auditorium, which will serve as a backdrop for many talented performers from the Midwest.

"The combination of top-notch performances and a first-class venue promise to make this event a glittering night, indeed," Akella said.

The Indian Student Alliance is an officially recognized UI student group. More information is online at Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend the event. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in the program, please contact the Alliance in advance at 641-430-6663.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory 319-384-0012,; Program: Sri Akella,