Sushma Dwivedi Jindal, aka The Purple Pundit, is a mother of two who is making Hinduism more relevant in this century. Pundit Sushma provides progressive, inclusive, LGBTQ-friendly Hindu pundit services through her organization, The Purple Pundit Project.Sushma says, "My only guidepost is making sure we stick to progressive, inclusive tenets. So I strip out anything that reeks of misogyny, patriarchy or otherwise offensive rhetoric."
Pundit Sushma will inaugurate the event by reciting a short shloka, a Ganesh Mantra, while we light the Diwali lamp.
Raakhee Mirchandani is a journalist, children’s book author, activist and mom — not necessarily in that order.She lives in Hoboken, N.J., with her husband and daughter, the inspirations for Hair Twins and Super Satya Saves the Day.
Raakhee joins us to read from her books, My Diwali Light and her new release She Persisted: Kalpana Chawla. Special thanks to Watchung Booksellers for making this author reading possible.
Parul Shah, artistic director of the Parul Shah Dance company, utilizes performance and education to promote cultural awareness and explore stories around identity. Drawing from her North Indian Classical dance training in Kathak, Shah expands the classical medium beyond cultural boundaries. With a deep commitment to shining a light on marginalized communities, her stories highlight the oppression of women and practices that undermine human dignity. Her repertoire takes inspiration from her classical training in Kathak, while building on the dance form’s mythological storytelling roots to explore contemporary narratives.
Parul Shah will perform a traditional Ganesh Vandana to inaugurate the event.
The Montclair Dharma Band, a new collaboration by local community artists! Enjoy the sounds of Aalok Mehta on electric sitar, vocals and keyboards, Anisha Nagarajan on vocals and ukulele, Nick Lashley on guitar, Paul Riggio on bass, and Aaliya Mehta on vocals. Joining this group is Stu Damm, our percussionist on drums and dhol!
BollyX, a Bollywood-inspired dance-fitness program that combines dynamic choreography with the hottest music from around the world, will be leading a communal dance session as a grand finale to Light up Montclair!
Adults and children will light up the main stage with vibrant performances!
Raakhee Mirchandani joins us to read her latest book, She Persisted: Kalpana Chawla and her festive favorite, My Diwali Light.
Special thanks to Watchung Booksellers for arranging this appearance.
Books will be available to purchase.
Warp + Weft is a special exhibition of Indian textile traditions. These textiles provide a glimpse of the varied regional traditions of Indian weaving and embroidery.
Saris are on loan from treasured personal collections. for one day only. Don't miss this up close experience to learn about India's iconic drape - the sari.
Help build a tabletop mural celebrating Diwali with an artist from the Montclair Art Museum.
Join us for a variety of arts and crafts projects including a rocking diya, rangoli and painted clay diyas!
Hindus For Human Rights
Mother Teresa’s Catholic Charities
Shiv’s Third Eye
Brick Lane Curry House
Montclair Bread Company
Mohamed Ice Cream Truck
Montclair Brewery (Adults 21+ Only)
Autumn and August
Choti Moti Design
The Sign Bar
Dancers: Sahana Shah, Sonya Doshi, Eshal Khan, Asha Kansagra, Anaaya Shah, Zuri Shah, Samika Dhande & Sadhana Dhande
Choreography: Roshi George
Dancers: Mishika Bhargava, Arika Jain, Aveer Kapur, Rehaan Kappor, Sasha Bandara, Ivaan Madhok, Ayan Shah, Sky Puniya, Soumya Kapoor, Maya Mehndiratta
Choreography: Kaira Krishna
Dancers: Madeline Frech, Dipanshi Ganguly-Chmiel, Kaia Litton, Anaaya Madhok, Aaliya Mehta, Annika Naidu, Aarya Ram, Amara Sethi, Siana Sethi, Arya Shah
Choreography: Shreya Navile
Dancers: Rishi Bakaya, Tej Bakaya, Avnish Naidu, Aarthik Ram, Calvin Shiao, Carter Shiao, Dev Sutha, Vir Sutha
Choreography: Usha Naidu & Shobha Swaminathan
Dancers: Deepika Misra, Ruchika Misra, Usha Naidu, Dipsha Shah, Oksana Shevchuk-Shah, Saher Siddiqui, Namrata Suri, Shobha Swaminathan, Harpreet Twigg
Choreography: Kaira Krishna & Puneeta Kalra
Dancers: Punita Gupta, Shweta Gupta, Madhuri Mukherjee, Mona Shah, Neha Shah, Tripti Singh, Rashmi Saraogi, Deepika Misra, Puneeta Kalra
Choreography: Roshi George & Puneeta Kalra
Dancers: Usha Naidu, Harpreet Twigg, Priya Dwivedi, Sumeet Kapoor, Rajani Sethi, Shobha Swaminathan, Shuba Vasan, Puneeta Kalra
Choreography: Puneeta Kalra