October 21, 2014, by Deepa Kumari Veerasingam

RTAD’s Deepavali Open House 2014

The Research Training and Academic Development (RTAD) held its annual Deepavali Open House on Friday, 17th October 2014.

Deepavali dazzles with the most intense of colours, illuminated by the light of oil lamps. The fascinating and exciting Festival of Lights is celebrated by Hindus across the world to mark the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. The symbolism of Deepavali is aptly summed up in the simple act of lighting an oil lamp. In Malaysia, Brickfields (also known as Little India) would be the best choice to shop for saris, bangles and spices for Deepavali, as well as to soak up the festive spirit.

A Divine Welcome – It is hard not to notice a Hindu home during Deepavali. Each doorway boasts a beautiful, vividly-coloured picture out of rice, flour or flower petals. It can take a form of a geometric pattern, a floral shape or a more detailed representation of animals or nature. Known as “kolam” or “rongoli“, these artworks are created to usher deities into the home, so that they can bless the household for the year ahead.

The Deepavali Open House began with a brief presentation about Deepavali by Ms Deepa Kumari. Deepa highlighted the significance of lights for Hindus and how Deepavali is celebrated in Malaysia.


Dr Christopher Hill then officiated the Open House by lighting the first wick. Other postgraduate students followed suit with the hope to see light at the end of the tunnel (at the end of their postgraduate studies).





Up next was a kolam or rongoli making session. The postgraduate students got to experience making kolams and they really made an effort to complete them!





We got some expert help from the Indian Cultural Society (ICS) in making the kolam. Thanks for the help!

Last but not least, what is an Open House without FOOD! Chicken curry and meehoon were served and not to forget, Murukku which is a traditional Indian snack.


Let us embrace the light this Deepavali!

Happy Deepavali from the RTAD Team!     

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