PennWest Clarion student organizations CINTA and ASIA will host Diwali Festival of Lights at 5 p.m. Oct. 20 in the third-floor lobby of Grunenwald Science and Technology Center.

The festival will include Indian food from Rajbhog Indian restaurant in Pittsburgh. Participants will light tea lights and sparklers on the balcony and will have the opportunity to have a henna tattoo. This is the third year CINTA (Clarion International Association) and ASIA (Asian Students Integrated Association) have organized the festival, which is free and open to all.

“Cultural celebrations such as Diwali are great opportunities to explore other cultures and religions with the students, employees and community,” said Natasha Dias, assistant professor of biology and CINTA advisor. “By exposing them to different lifestyles and customs, we help create a future generation of open-minded adults who are empathetic and globally aware.”

Diwali represents the symbolic victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. The festival is celebrated by many Asian countries, including India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Fiji, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Singapore and Myanmar, as well as some other nations that follow Hinduism and Buddhism.