Friday, November 11, 2011

Celebrating the festival of lights

FESTIVE FUN: Patel, second from left, with attendees
at the Diwali event.

Brightly colored patterned lanterns hung from the ceiling, and flickering candles lined the window sills of the East Garden Room for its transformation into a traditional Indian celebration. “Happy Diwali!” attendees warmly greeted one another as they arrived at the Oct. 27 event, hosted by MGH Human Resources. A blessing was given by Michael McElhinny, MDiv, director of the MGH Chaplaincy, and Jeff Davis, senior vice president of Human Resources, provided additional remarks.

“It’s beautiful,” said Dinesh Patel, MD, chief of Arthroscopic Surgery, who approached the MGH about organizing the celebration earlier this year. “They have done a wonderful job. The fact that the leadership of the hospital is willing to respect other religions and the inclusion of diversity is great.”

Diwali is most commonly known as the festival of lights and traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. According to tradition, Diwali celebrates the joyous homecoming of Lord Rama, hero of the epic poem “Ramayana,” after 14 years of exile. When Rama and his wife returned to rule their country, their people lit the way with small oil lamps.

Partners Research Ventures and Licensing employees Seema Basu, associate director, and Uma Sundaram and Rekha Paleyanda, both senior business strategy and licensing managers, said that, despite the inclement weather, they traveled from their office at the Prudential Center to join the festivities. “I came because Mass General is taking the time and effort to celebrate one of the largest Indian celebrations. It’s fun,” Sundaram said.

“This is wonderful,” Basu agreed. “It’s very well done. It’s a celebration that transcends all ages, and it’s for the whole family.”

Read more articles from the 11/11/11 Hotline issue.


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