Sharon Forks Library’s fifth annual Diwali Celebration
(Left) Gargi Surange dances at the Forsyth County Library Diwali Celebration on November 11, 2018.
On Sunday, November 11, 2018, the Sharon Forks Library in Cumming, GA—part of the Forsyth County Library system—held their fifth annual Diwali Celebration. This program grew out of a patron request for the library to host a Diwali program since Forsyth County is home to a large and active Indian population. From its first year, the program was wildly successful and has grown into one of the largest programs the library hosts. This year’s celebration was no exception with over 700 library patrons attending the program.
The Sharon Forks Library recently underwent a large renovation and nearly doubled its square footage, including adding a large new meeting room that can hold over 500 people. Due to the expanded space, the library was able to host Diwali events throughout the building so that patrons of all ages could celebrate. There were craft tables where kids and families could create a Diwali lantern. There was also a craft where adults could make a rangoli. Indian food was served, and all attendees had the chance to sample pakora, plantain chips, and more. Volunteers did mehndi tattoos for all ages.
(Left) Library patrons of all ages enjoying the Diwali Celebration dance performances at the Sharon Forks Library.
But the highlight of the day were the performances from three local dance schools, Darshini Natyalaya School of Indian Classical Dance, Atlanta Nritya Academy, and NG’s Dance. Each dance school put together a 30-minute program to showcase different Indian dance styles from Bharatanatyam to Bollywood. The library’s expanded meeting space was packed as audience members cheered and clapped for the high energy and educational performances.
Gayatri Seshadri, director of Darshini Natyalaya said of the event, “We are always very excited to celebrate Diwali at this event through this traditional dance form because it gives us an opportunity to say thanks and appreciate all that Sharon Forks Library does for the local community.”
This year’s Diwali Celebration was a huge success, and library staff look forward to continuing this program for years to come. “This is my favorite program of the year to host,” said Youth Services Supervisor and organizer of the event, Cleo Joyce. “I love seeing the tremendous response from our community and being able to highlight the diversity of Forsyth County. I have learned a lot about Indian and Hindu culture through this program, and I enjoy being able to share that with all of our library patrons.”
In addition to our annual Diwali Celebration, the Sharon Forks Library offers a World Language collection which includes titles in Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, and Mandarin Chinese. The Forsyth County Public Library hosts a full calendar of programs for patrons of all ages and cultures. More information can be found at www.forsythpl.org.
Cleo Joyce, organizer of the event, poses with Sudakshina Mukherjee, director of Atlanta Nritya Academy, (both in the middle of the back row) and the ANA dancers.
Website Bonus Feature
[The article above is a Website Bonus Feature, appearing only on the website for December 2018, not in the print/digital issues.]
The first Diwali Celebration at Forsyth County Public Library
“One World Forsyth Program Series Kicks Off with Diwali Celebration” October 4, 2014
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