Diwali / Deepavali is a “Festival of Lights” that celebrates the triumph of light over dark, good over evil, and the blessings of victory, freedom, and enlightenment. Diwali is the most widely-celebrated religious and cultural festival in India and for some communities it also marks the beginning of the New Year. In recent years, Diwali has become a global celebration, where one can witness a multitude of communities and faiths coming together to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. The Festival of Lights, Diwali, serves as a platform that encourages artistic expression through vibrant performances, unique exhibits, and colorful decorations.
Every year, all the residents of the NC Triangle area and beyond, enthusiastically look forward to Hum Sub Diwali (formerly Cary Diwali) presented by Hum Sub, Inc. in partnership with the Town of Cary. The rebranding to Hum Sub Diwali in 2022 was a masterstroke at improving community outreach, extending the invitation to residents from all the nearby cities like Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina and more to partake in the joyous celebration. Hum Sub Diwali has always been an event that the local community looks forward to every year where one can witness the rich and glorious civilizational legacy that has been carried forward over generations from the Indian subcontinent, laying a solid understanding of our art, culture, food, and traditions. With a deep-rooted passion for preserving and promoting India’s vast repository of art and craft and abundant traditions, every year Hum Sub creates cherished connections for the community. Supported by grants from the United Arts Council and the Town of Cary and a plethora of sponsors, Hum Sub Diwali showcases a wide range of musical, dance, theater performances, alongside a handicraft bazaar, Indian food vendors, sponsor booths, an exhibition of Indian art and culture, activities for children, immersive demonstrations, and so much more!
The theme for 2023’s Hum Sub Diwali was Shagun: An Auspicious Start! The Koka Booth Amphitheatre once again reverberated to an eclectic mix of cultural programs, the sound of the Diwali fireworks and reiterated Hum Sub’s continued commitment to the arts, to the entertainment, and to the cultural rejuvenation of the communities that they serve. All the local choreographers and musicians, freelancers and dance schools alike, continued to keep alive the interest in Indian cultural artforms. The stage back panels showcased the myriad ways in which Indians celebrate festivals, weddings, etc. and the rituals associated with them. Free seating for seniors all day both last year and this year was a gesture that was much appreciated. Rain played spoilsport until early afternoon, however, the spirits of the daytime performers were not dampened. The audience braved the rain and supported the performers adorning the front of the stage with colorful umbrellas. The weather gods showed some mercy after 3pm and a typical Fall day unfolded to everyone’s relief. Live streaming of the event helped people a lot locally besides families and friends watching elsewhere in the world. Understandably, there is a lot of work that goes into hosting a show of this magnitude and it is always a gamble with weather during October in NC.
Like earlier years, the exhibition booths presented a look into a segment of India’s rich traditions. This year the exhibition presented a glimpse of 14 different weddings in India from across different religions and communities in India and Nepal. Hum Sub partnered with regional associations and a lot of dedicated local volunteers who graciously devoted their time to tell their stories. Regardless of religion, caste, or language, weddings in India are boisterous occasions filled with pomp, splendor and vivid traditions. Indian weddings are known for their grandeur and vibrance, and also for their meaningful rituals and ceremonies that doesn’t just bring two individuals together, rather brings two families together. The exhibits did a wonderful job of contrasting how weddings are portrayed through Bollywood. The booth also featured several henna artists who helped adorn the palms of visitors with beautiful designs of henna. Walking into the exhibition booth made one feel as if they were attending a wedding in India. Authentic traditional dances performances from various weddings across India from the north to the south and from east to west was a visual feast! Visitors who walked into the exhibit were also invited to participate in these performances, including our local town council members who danced with full fervor.
During the late afternoon, the audience was treated to some lovely dance performances by the HSNC Seniors group followed by the Celebrity Dance, a novel idea to involve local town officials across Cary, Morrisville and Apex. As a part of the flash mob arrangement, a Brazilian group played the batala drums alongside some foot-tapping dances by local performers. The Youth Achievement Award underscored Hum Sub’s commitment to youth leadership. The primetime entertainment was the icing on the cake – a captivating concert by Abby V. and his band – a first-time live band on the Hum Sub Diwali stage that completely left the audience spellbound. Abby V. catapulted to fame in 2020 with his 73 raagas rendition that attracted fans world over. Hum Sub’s focus this year on singing was a refreshing change from yesteryears. Abby’s ability to sing in multiple languages regaled the audience for a couple of hours and was ably supported by Shradha Ganesh. At 8:45pm, glorious fireworks lit up the dark sky signaling the culmination of a glorious Hum Sub Diwali 2023.
For many thousand visitors who attended this event live, and many more that witnessed the event on our live YouTube channel, this was a memorable event. Hum Sub team wishes to continue this tradition of bringing the best in Indian culture, tradition and food to people in this region year after year!