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Celebrate Diwali, the festival of light, safely

12/11/2020
Celebrate Diwali, the festival of light, safely

At the University of Wolverhampton, we are proud to be an inclusive community, with students and staff from diverse nationalities and backgrounds. This week, we're celebrating Diwali the festival of lights, however like so many other recent events – religious or otherwise – Covid-19 will severely impact Diwali celebrations.

Diwali celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. It is marked by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists.

A five-day festival, Diwali includes the Festival of Light on Saturday, 14 November and students who will be celebrating are being asked to take extra care because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Lord Paul

The Right Honourable Lord Paul, Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, commented: “On this auspicious occasion, I would like to wish a very happy and prosperous Diwali to everyone at the University of Wolverhampton. Diwali is about celebrating happiness, sharing joy and building bonds.”

“At this time of great national difficulty, the need for celebrations that bring light into our world has never been more important. We have all faced challenges that we could never have expected, but Diwali’s message is a reminder of the light at the end of the tunnel and of our strength in unity.”

“I would like to extend best wishes to the University of Wolverhampton for their effort in supporting students and keeping the spirit of Diwali in this challenging time.” 

Sikh Chaplain Giani Shyam Singh has recorded a video message, wishing all students and staff a happy Diwali. The message can be viewed on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/XbD6EFp4OWY  

Celebrating Diwali at home

To keep yourself and our University community safe, we must limit physical contact with people outside our households as much as possible. Under the new national restrictions from 5 November, you should not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household - meaning the people you live with, or in your support bubble.

Places of worship, including temples, have closed for celebrations but can still be accessed for individual prayer. If you need support to access a place of worship, please contact our Chaplaincy team by email: chaplaincy@wlv.ac.uk.

Although the celebrations will be different this year, there are still lots of ways to mark Diwali. Families who can't travel or meet up are being encouraged to plan virtual activities, so they can still see friends and relatives. At home, you can light diyas, create decorations, as well as bake traditional sweets, snacks and savouries. There are recipes available online.

University of Wolverhampton Students’ Union - Indian food parcels made available for students as part of Diwali

The University of Wolverhampton Students’ Union (UWSU) in partnership with The Sant Zora Singh Lopon Charitable Trust will be hosting an event where food parcels will be made available for delivery to students isolating on campus or collection to students at the University of Wolverhampton’s City Campus.  

The event, taking place at Lomas Street on City Campus on Friday 13th November from 12 (noon), is part of a wider selection of virtual events taking place to mark Diwali – the festival of lights.

Ayo Falana, SU President and Nirmla Devi, MBE and UWSU Chief Executive said:, “Diwali is normally a wonderful time of year for families and friends to get together and food is a big part of these celebrations. Sadly, traditional celebrations will not be able to take place this year. However, as a Students’ Union we are keen to support our students and find a safe way to mark this occasion.

“This event of providing free Indian food to our students through a dedicated and committed charity is a simple, heartfelt gesture from your Students’ Union and University. Happy Diwali!”

Virtual Events

Arena Theatre - Virtual Diwali Utsav

Associate Artist Jaivant Patel Dance is bringing a virtual instalment of his popular Diwali Utsav show on Saturday 14 November – featuring excerpts of his Samarpan Mahotsav performance from 2019 – which will be available for 48 hours for the audience to watch.

Find out more and register for free tickets here:https://wlv.ticketsolve.com/shows/873622187 

Birmingham Festival of Lights – Diwali on Screen

Normally the Festival of Lights event is held on Victoria Square in Birmingham city centre, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, 2020's celebration was held virtually via social media. Diwali on Screen featured new and traditional singing, folk dance and performances from established and up and coming acts.

Find out more and view the event here: https://www.wmca.org.uk/events/#!/event/diwali-on-the-screen/

Diwali in Leicester

Leicester's virtual Diwali celebration will help bring people together for an experience they can share with loved ones and friends wherever they are in the world. Members of the public can send in their video messages, which will be included in the live-streamed event on the Visit Leicester website, on Saturday 14 November.

Find out more here: https://www.visitleicester.info/whats-on/diwali-p704841?dm_i=4MPG,XT4G,29NNKG,47D1E,1

Where you can find more information

It will no doubt feel very different as you engage with your studies this year, but we are here to help you find your way. If you're not sure what support service you need, you should visit www.wlv.ac.uk/support where you can find more information and contact the student support and wellbeing team directly.

The latest information and guidance around Covid-19 is available on our dedicated coronavirus pages at www.wlv.ac.uk/coronavirus. Details of the national lockdown measures in effect until 2 December, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available here: https://www.wlv.ac.uk/news-and-events/coronavirus/national-restrictions/

Thank you, and stay safe.

Tim Steele

Pro-Vice Chancellor (International)

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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