In November, The Cambridge India Business Forum SIG had the pleasure of organising a Diwali (Indian festival of lights) Formal Hall Dinner at Sidney Sussex College, for the students of Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS). It was a memorable night of networking and cultural gathering. The guest panel included: Dame Sandra Dawson, ex-Director of Cambridge Judge Business School and Master of Sidney Sussex College; Megha Kishore, Director at AstraZeneca; Professor Jaideep Prabhu, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business & Enterprise at CJBS and Marvin Fernandes, Visiting Fellow at Cambridge Judge.

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a gathering of festivities to celebrate light, love and friendships. Imagine a dazzling array of lights, vibrant colors, and the sweet scent of delicious treats wafting through the air – that’s Diwali in a nutshell!

Celebrated by millions across the globe, Diwali marks the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. It is marked by the lighting of “diya” or candle which was later popularised as  Diwali.

Traditionally in India, it usually kicks off with families decorating their homes with beautiful oil lamps, colorful rangoli (artistic floor designs), and strings of fairy lights. Fireworks later on, light up the night sky, creating a mesmerising display that rivals a million fireflies dancing in unison.

This time in Cambridge, MBA friends, colleagues and professors gathered for a feast at Sidney Sussex College. Diwali cuisine is a delightful medley of sweets and savoury delights, with everyone sharing laughter, stories, and of course, indulging in some seriously good food. It’s like a gastronomic journey through the heart of India!

Over a third of the 2023-2024 MBA cohort attended this special celebration.
For us, students who are studying away from home, Diwali was a time to sprinkle a little bit of home into our student life. Our dorm rooms transformed into mini Diwali hubs, adorned with twinkling lights and DIY decorations. Care packages from home, filled with homemade sweets and goodies, became precious treasures. We came together to create our own Diwali magic, sharing traditions with other nationalities and creating new memories with new found friends. We were pleased to see a over hundred friends and colleagues turn up for Diwali, to celebrate and dine with us.

But Diwali is more than just a festival; it’s a burst of joy that transcends borders and brings people together. So, whether you’re celebrating with your family in the heart of India or with friends in a dorm room halfway across the world, Diwali is a time to shine bright, spread happiness, and savour the sweetness of life!