Illuminating the Human Spirit
By Neela Sharma | Staff Writer
With the festivities of Diwali wearing off, the diaspora of students across Manipal were subject to yet another night of illumination and its consequential warmth. ‘Luminaire’, formerly known as Light the Night, is an event hosted annually by AIESEC in Manipal and provides attendees the opportunity to set afloat Chinese lanterns together. Accommodated at the wide and luscious fields of End Point, everyone present were treated to a stunning and wondrous display of lanterns glowing against the night sky.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, families and friends ambling towards the grounds were greeted by a vivid array of fairy lights that brilliantly contrasted against the waning evening light and served as a reminder of what was yet to come. The atmosphere was relaxed, yet attentive as people gravitated towards booths that showcased notable goals the United Nations hoped to achieve by 2030 such as gender equality, climate change and quality education, all of which should find its application in the ‘State of the World’ as well as the ‘State of Manipal’.
The subsequent hour saw people jiving and singing along to a multitude of familiar songs while irradiating a palpable energy of solidarity into the atmosphere. This was then followed by a fiery performance by Manipal’s leading dance crew ‘Blitzkrieg’. Despite having to work with too small a stage, their impressive stunts and liveliness infected the audience, who cheered them on and tried to keep up with their intensity.
This was then followed by the main event of the evening i.e. the lighting of the lanterns. One by one, the Chinese lanterns were lit and released into the space above facilitating as messengers of love, hope, and acceptance. The committee members scurried through the venue as they assisted people to set up their lamps and ensured that there were no accidents. This resulted in the whole process being carried off with admirable efficiency. When asked on his interpretation of the event, fellow organizer Saurabh Bodas said “Lighting a lantern is akin to making a commitment to yourself, creating awareness for sustainable development, and helping your community”.
All in all, the event was a rousing success despite the disappointing turnout. Nevertheless, the idea of lighting lanterns to create awareness and promote sustainable energy is one that is sure to stay with the audience for a long time.