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One of the major national festivals of the Republic of India—Diwali—was celebrated in Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU). On the New Year's Eve according to the Hindu calendar, the Russian and Indian students remembered the ancient history of this festival, congratulated each other, and opened the thematic exhibition on the "land of maharajas".
The celebration brought together the students and faculty of Oriental Institute–School of Regional and International Studies (OI–SRIS), where they have already studied India for 23 years, and the freshmen of the School of Biomedicine, which has admitted 40 Indian students to the new English program in General Medicine this year.
"Congratulations on your holiday and welcome to the international family of Far Eastern Federal University!" addresses those present Victoria Panova, Director of OI-SRIS. "We are always glad to see you at the youth events of Oriental Institute, and our students and faculty are willing to help you in any matter related to the life and study in Russia."
As explained by Professor Alexander Sokolovsky, Department of Pacific Asia, OI-SRIS, Diwali is widely celebrated in India: the tradition originated in ancient times and it symbolizes the victory of good over evil. This year the festival fell on the night of 29 to 30 October.
"There are many legends about the origin of Diwali. One of them associates it with the coronation to the throne of Rama, the greatest hero of the ancient Indian legends. The tradition says that on the night of the coronation, the illumination to mark the withdrawal of humanity from the darkness to the light by the legendary prince was held throughout the country," said Alexander Sokolovsky.
The thematic exhibition was opened in the OI–SRIS Southeast Asian Studies Center on the eve of the festival. It featured the elements of the Indian way of life and home décor, artifacts, statues, ornaments, and books published by the FEFU faculty. The students toured the exposition with great interest; and the Indian freshmen performed the national anthem of the country as a sign of the onset of the New Year. The India Consul General in Vladivostok Mr. Rupjyoti B. Karjee also invited the FEFU students and faculty to celebrate Diwali on this day.