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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

South Asian Student Association Hosts 7th Annual Diwali Party

Senior+Anusha+Namburu+and+senior+Haniya+Hassaan+eat+chicken+biryani+at+the+Diwali+party+hosted+by+the+South+Asian+Student+Association+%E2%80%9CThe+festivities+are+associated+with+firecrackers+or+explosions+that+only+happen+once+a+year+and+are+often+hallmarks+of+our+childhood%2C%E2%80%9D+Portola+High+SASA+club+outreach+director+and+senior+Amogh+Baddam+said.+%E2%80%9CWe%E2%80%99re+just+seeing+everybody+celebrate+our+culture+and+having+fun+together+in+traditional+clothes.%E2%80%9D
Maitri Allani
Senior Anusha Namburu and senior Haniya Hassaan eat chicken biryani at the Diwali party hosted by the South Asian Student Association “The festivities are associated with firecrackers or explosions that only happen once a year and are often hallmarks of our childhood,” Portola High SASA club outreach director and senior Amogh Baddam said. “We’re just seeing everybody celebrate our culture and having fun together in traditional clothes.”

Two hundred seventy five high school students attended South Asian Student Association’s (SASA) annual Diwali party on Friday, Nov. 10 at the Pools Park. To celebrate, students wore traditional Indian clothes such as lehengas and chudidars — danced to Bollywood songs and ate Indian food, according to Portola High SASA club president and junior Ananya Vuppula.

Diwali is an Indian celebration of victory associated with lights and color, according to Portola High SASA club outreach director and senior Amogh Baddam. Although the actual holiday took place on Sunday, Nov. 12, the SASA Diwali party was an opportunity for high school students to come together and connect with each other while celebrating an important Indian festival, according to Baddam. 

“My favorite part is being able to get everybody together,” Baddam said. “It’s pretty important to find a community that shares similar cultures and traditions because it’s something you can relate to. It’s something you can bond over and it’s something where you can create memories that last for a long time.”

Among the Diwali party’s many activities included a mosh pit, where a DJ played a mix of Indian and American songs, and a photo booth where friends could take photos, according to freshman Yashica Gupta.

“The Diwali party was an opportunity to attend and take part in a specific culture, which I think was really important,” Gupta said. “I love celebrating Diwali, I like dressing up and I love Indian food too. The best part was the dancing, and overall it was really fun.”

Nine Orange County schools affiliated with SASA collaborated for the event. During the planning process, board members were assigned tasks, such as crafting decorations and organizing caterers, according to Vuppula.

“The SASA Diwali party is the main place where our students in OC get their ‘Bollywood Homecoming’ essentially,” Vuppula said. “Just give them a sense of culture and give them a sense of connections to their heritage.”

In the future, SASA intends to continue celebrating South Asian culture by hosting more events, such as one for the festival Holi in March, according to Baddam. SASA hopes to create a welcoming environment for South Asian students and provide an outlet to help them connect with their cultural roots.

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About the Contributors
Aditi Salunkhe, Assistant Sports Editor
Aditi Salunkhe is the Assistant Sports Editor for her second year on the Portola Pilot. When she’s not stressing about final draft deadlines, you can find her watching true crime documentaries or going on long runs with her cross country teammates. In her freetime, she often reads mystery books in bed with her favorite snacks.
Sonia Wang, Assistant Features Editor
Sonia Wang is the Assistant Features Editor and also a Business Team member returning for her second year on the Portola Pilot. She is excited to edit articles and work with new members of the Pilot. Outside of writing, you can find her reading a fantasy or sci-fi book, listening to music, or desperately trying to finish her homework.
Maitri Allani, Media Director
Maitri Allani is the Media Director and a Business Manager for her second and final year of Portola Pilot. She loves to write and read, especially horrible romance books. She is extremely bisexual and an avid fan of Women’s soccer. She spends her time watching TV and sleeping. Computer science is her passion and she can code with Python, HTML, and Java. She is usually jamming out to Bollywood songs, BTS and Taylor Swift.
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