Dear Fordham,

This week, across the Indian diaspora (including its beloved members here at Fordham), we celebrate Diwali. Just when we need it most, Diwali reminds us of the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

Diwali comes in the autumn, on the darkest of nights during the new moon. Tonight, the third of five, celebrants will light rooftops with oil lamps, fill windows with candles, and explode joyful fireworks. Celebrants decorate floors with intricate designs of brightly colored powder to welcome the divine, cook enormous feasts, and exchange gifts.

For Hindus (and Jains and Sikhs), Diwali fosters the inner light that protects against spiritual darkness. In what has been a very hard month in the world, we take this moment to nurture the embers of hope against understandable cynicism and despair. We remember that the smallest of candles can pierce the darkness.

Happy Diwali to all of us.

All my best,
Tania Tetlow