Tens of Thousands Descend on Sugar Land Stadium for Diwali Celebration

Tikka is applied on the forehead of Sushma Panthi, left, as she is welcomed by Kinal Mittal, 17, to the Diwali Festival of Lights event in Sugar Land, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018.

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS, October 20, 2018 (Houston Chronicle): The sounds of drums and Indian dance music echoed Saturday night through Skeeter Stadium in Sugar Land, a place usually filled with fans cheering to the crack of baseball bats. Yellow banners reading “Jai Shri Ram,” or “Victory to Lord Rama,” hung from the walkway’s ceiling. Dozens of red-tented vendor booths strung together with twinkle lights showcased saris, linens, candles and jewelry. Gold bangles glittered under the fluorescent lights.

This year marks the seventh annual Diwali and Dussehra festival by Shri Sita Ram Foundation, a nonprofit that provides funding to programs that promote Vedic culture. The holiday, which falls around Nov. 7, is also called the Hindu Festival of Lights and recognizes the victory of good over evil. Kris Marepelli, event commander, said she expected a crowd of 10,000 people to come to this year’s festival, which featured Gov. Greg Abbot as chief guest and U.S. Rep. Pete Olson as parade marshal. The Indian community is one of Houston’s fastest-growing populations, jumping 83 percent from 2000 to 2012, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

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Source: Hinduism Today