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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 7, 2008

Indian Student Alliance to celebrate 'Festival of Lights' Nov. 15

The University of Iowa's Indian Student Alliance (ISA) will host Diwali, the most glamorous and widely celebrated South Asian festival, from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, in the Second Floor Ballroom of the newly re-opened Iowa Memorial Union (IMU).

Widely known as the "Festival of Lights," Diwali is a celebration of faith and happiness through communal unity in a vibrant and colorful atmosphere. Last fall over 750 people attended the Diwali festival, one of the largest diversity initiatives on campus for the past 17 years.

"This year we hope to attract people from a variety of backgrounds to further spread Indian culture through a display of various performances originating from all across India," said Arun Gupta, ISA president.

Festivities will include a catered Indian meal from Taj Mahal in Cedar Rapids from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m., featuring a range of cultural acts from classical Indian music to modern Bollywood dance led by students, local dance troupes and renowned Diwali performers.

The first 100 student tickets are for sale for $10, available for purchase only from the IMU Box Office at 319-335-3041. Reserved seating tickets are $25, available only at the IMU Box office and Taj Mahal, located at 3939 Center Point Road NE in Cedar Rapids. General admission tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the IMU Box Office, Taj Mahal, Masala, located at 9 S. Dubuque St. in Iowa City, and at Claypot, located at 925 25th Ave. in Coralville.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend the event. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in the program, contact the ISA in advance at 309-397-4802.

The ISA formed in 2006 from a merger between two university organizations, the Indian Student Association and Indian Cultural Organization. The mission of ISA is to facilitate interchange between community members with a reciprocal interest in the rich and diverse culture of India, and to increase awareness of Indian political and social issues. For more information visit

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Arun Gupta, Indian Student Alliance, 309-397-4802,;; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,; Writer: Caroline Jones