Penn State Scranton to host Diwali celebration for northeast regional campuses

a group of female Indian students dressed in formal gowns for Diwali 2019

Diwali is a cultural celebration that has been celebrated at Penn State Scranton for several years. Last year, due to COVID-19, the campus could not host an in-person celebration, but is looking forward to the 2021 joint celebration of the holiday with several other Penn State campuses, in conjunction with Penn State Global.

Credit: Penn State

DUNMORE, Pa. — The Penn State Scranton Indian Student Association, in coordination with Penn State Global, will host a celebration of Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, on Sunday, Nov. 14. 

Diwali is the festival of lights and is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains around the world, taking place over the span of five days. The holiday, which marks the beginning of the Hindu calendar, celebrates the victory of good over evil. People celebrate the festival with oil lamps, lights and fireworks. 

Dharti Ray, coordinator of co-curricular programs at Penn State Scranton, said that members of the Indian Student Association are very excited to celebrate Diwali at the campus.

“They plan to decorate the Sherbine Lounge and Café with flowers and lights,” Ray said. “Students are also hosting the Diwali Fashion Show, which will demonstrate various types of clothes from India.” 

This event isn’t just for the Penn State Scranton community, however. The Diwali program is being hosted as the start of International Education Week, which is being run by Penn State Global. Students from the northeast regional campuses of Penn State, including Penn State Berks, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Schuylkill and Wilkes-Barre, will come together at the Scranton campus for the celebration. Students from these campuses who decide to attend the Diwali celebration will be provided transportation from their respective location to Scranton and back. 

When asked why Diwali is special to her, Ray said that it “celebrates the progress thus far along with the new beginning. It is celebrated with a lot of food, family and friends gatherings, temple visits, lights and so much more. The best part of Diwali is that the celebration lasts for five days.” 

The program is open to all students from all six campuses involved. The event will take place from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the View Café and the K. Bruce Sherbine Lounge at the Scranton campus, and will include free authentic Indian food, an informational session about Diwali, student performances, and the Indian fashion show, which will have students from every campus participating.  

The links to register for the event and for the fashion show are below. For more information about the Diwali celebration, reach out to Ray by email at [email protected]

Event Registration Link: Diwali Event - Penn State Scranton - Student Services & Engagement ( 

Fashion Show Link: Penn State Scranton - Student Services & Engagement - Diwali Fashion Show (