Diwali at the Children’s Museum Last Year

By Juginder Luthra, Weirton, WV

The tapestry of Pittsburgh is changing. More and more threads of Indian Americans — like our customs, foods and festivals — are getting woven into the Pittsburgh community. In this, we  have come a long way from a time about forty years ago, when a well-educated resident of Pittsburgh asked us, “Do they have festivals in India?” We told him about the numerous festivals and the meaning behind each one. Only one person became educated with our answer. 

A community leader among us, Mrs. Krishna Sharma, last year made one more institution become more familiar with India to a higher level. Sometime back, she had acquired an old church in Carnegie, converting it into the India Community Center, now known as ICC. Last October, she collaborated the Diwali activities at the ICC with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. On October 19, 2019 India’s auspicious Diwali was celebrated, for the first time, at the Children Museum.

The flyer made by the Museum to promote the event included the following lines: This event was made possible by the India Community Center. Special thanks to our event chair Krishna Sharma.

Krishna Sharma, Dolly Luthra and Subash Ahuja at the Museum in the Diwali function.

In spite of serious family issues, Krishna gave her time and efforts for the celebration of Diwali at the Children’s Museum. The event was set on three floors of the Museum Lab. For a token ticket of $5, hundreds of children and adults, a mix of mainstream Americans  and Indian Americans, enjoyed Indian snacks provided by Cafe Delhi. A large traditional rangoli designed and colored by Krishna Sharma and colored by Krishna greeted visitors at the entrance.  

Children colored diyas (clay lamps), learned the rangoli art, and had henna painted on their hands. Sheena Chopra of Weirton, a well-known singer, now living in Pittsburgh, rendered the National Anthems. Against a backdrop of Indian saris decorating the stage, students of Guiding Stars Production performed traditional Indian dances. Their teacher, Sonia, choreographed the dances for the event.  END$$


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