On the 13th of February, 2016 the students of MBBS 2015 organised a ‘Saraswati Panchami Celebration’ in Jinan University campus as a tribute to goddess Saraswati.
Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of learning, wisdom, fine arts, knowledge, refinement, science and technology. People worship Goddess Saraswati to attain enlightenment through knowledge and to rid themselves of lethargy, sluggishness and ignorance. Celebrants celebrate Saraswati Panchami as the birthday of goddess Saraswati. This day also goes by the name of “Vasant Panchami” which marks the beginning of the spring festival according to the Hindu lunar calendar. The colour yellow plays an important role in Vasant Panchami as it is related to the bloom of mustard flowers during this period.
The day started early with cleaning the area and arranging the make-shift stand of books and stationary for goddess Saraswati to bless. A lot many offerings or “Prasad” were bought and arranged along with drinks. There was an arrangement for holy songs and mantras continuously playing in the background to enhance the holiness of the event. Beautiful invites were made and distributed to all the teachers and seniors.
As people gathered at the venue by 9:30 a.m., the programme started. The first event was a welcome speech by Yashika Sharma who was a part of the main organising team of the celebration. The next was a holy song for goddess Saraswati often sung by students as children in school. As all the Indian students familiar with the song hummed to its tune, it created a very peaceful and sanctified environment. Teachers and senior students present were then called for lighting the lamp. The lamps signified the end of darkness and spread of the light of knowledge. Next was a bharatnatyam dance (a traditional dance form of India) by Anushree Kabiraj of 2015 batch. The most exciting part of her performance was that she carried it in a saree (the traditional Indian attire for women). After her incredible performance was a two minute silence for everyone to pray to Goddess Saraswati for wisdom and success in their education.
The rest of the event was followed by distribution of the offerings made to the goddess and conversations among all the students. Some of the senior students also shared their thoughts regarding the importance of this occasion and congratulating the most junior batch on organizing their first event in the university. It sure was a jolly mood and very special event for all the Indian students who got a chance to celebrate their traditional festival in foreign land and felt closer to home. As everyone gathered to leave, vermillion or “tika” was smeared on their forehead to mark the end of this holy celebration, to be celebrated again the next year.