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Celebrate South Asian food and culture at the first-ever Festival of Lights event in Richmond Hill

Festival
A dancer performs during a Diwali celebration.(Photo by Paul Frangipane)

On Oct. 27, make your way to Golden Terrace in Richmond Hill for the first-ever Festival of Lights.

Hosted by the Queens County Women’s Bar Association (QCWBA), the South Asian Indo-Caribbean Bar Association of Queens and the NYPD Desi Society, the event will celebrate Diwali, the Indian “Festival of Lights”— a holiday that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and enlightenment.

“I wanted to do something to celebrate my heritage,” said Ravi Cattry, president of the Queens County Women’s Bar Association.

The first president of the Association of Indian heritage, Cattry assumed the position in June. By August, the Festival of Lights was taking shape.

“Queens has a large South Asian and Indo-Caribbean population,” Cattry explained, “and the membership of the QCWBA is very diverse, so we wanted to bring people together around food and culture. Our goal is to get the community involved.”

Urmila Prem, vice president of inclusion of the South Asian Indo-Caribbean Bar Association of Queens (SAICBA-Q), echoed the sentiment, explaining why the bar association was established in 2017.

“We wanted to provide a space for the legal community to come together to promote professional development and networking, increase diversity in the judiciary and increase access to legal services throughout Queens,” she said. “We often collaborate with affinity bar associations for social and educational opportunities, and what better way to honor our membership and one of the most well-known holidays, than to collaborate and host an event celebrating Diwali.

“This is the perfect opportunity to honor our legal professionals who celebrate [Diwali], and represent the culture within our profession,” she continued.

The Festival of Lights, which begins at 5:30 p.m., will feature food, outfits, music, vendors – including jewelry, henna and more – and even live performances.

“We welcome all to this event and are extremely excited to showcase the richness and beauty of the Indo-Caribbean and South Asian culture and traditions across the extremely diverse Queens legal community. The more the merrier,” Prem said. “This is a great way to fuse our cultures. We are so happy to collaborate with everyone in our community and look forward to community support and participation.”

Tickets can be purchased at qcwba.org/qcwba-event/festival-of-lights/.

Currently, Cattry said, they are still accepting sponsors.

“This is a good way to grow your business, and get to know the community and the culture,” she said.

To get involved as a sponsor, go to qcwba.org.

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