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Millis/Medway - Local Town Pages

Medway hosts second annual Diwali, Festival of Lights Cultural Celebration

By Theresa Knapp 

On Nov. 11, the Medway Cultural Council and Medway Marches co-sponsored the second annual celebration of Diwali, a Festival of Lights. 

Diwali, also known as “Deepavali,” is the most important festival of the year in India and is celebrated with festive gatherings, fireworks, feasts, and prayer over a period of five days. 

According to, Diwali is “celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, and people of Indian heritage and non-Indian heritage. Despite each faith having its own historical legends and celebratory events, the holiday represents the same symbolic victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.”

Stuthi Balaji helped organize this year’s event. 

“My family moved to Medway in 2022. In an attempt to find community, I reached out to the Medway Cultural Council, where I met a wonderful group of leaders that volunteered their time to support artists, festivals and events from all cultural backgrounds,” said Balaji, noting that when Medway Marches President Angelica Cosby approached her about organizing a local Diwali festival, she jumped at the opportunity. 

She said, “I think Diwali is incredibly important because in a world where good and evil are always warring, Diwali gives us all an opportunity to celebrate warmth and hope with our community. Together, we - the Medway Cultural Council and Medway Marches - set out to create a safe space where each and every one of us (recent transplants and long-time residents) could come together and celebrate our culture and diversity. We have since heard from so many people around our community about how much they enjoyed the event and appreciated having the opportunity to experience Indian artistry and culture.” 

More than 500 people registered for the family-friendly event which included vibrant music and dance, henna, storytelling, lamp painting, and a dinner of Indian delicacies. There was also a Mitthai Exchange, a Diwali tradition involving the exchange of sweets. 

The cultural showcase included performances by the Anubhava School of Music, Aangikam Dance Academy, Desi2Step, Chaandam Institute of Kathak Dance, and DFD Academy. 

Balaji said, ““Over the course of my life, I have lived in four vastly different countries amongst populations from different ethnicities, national origins and religions. Regardless of our differences, this Festival of Lights has been the great unifier! Although Diwali originates from the Indian subcontinent, it is celebrated on a massive scale, globally.” 

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