Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by millions of Indians across the globe. It symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and the victory of good over evil. In Sammamish, one resident aims to bring the community together to experience the magic of Diwali with a free concert on Nov. 18 at the city’s Teen Center.
Indian classical musician Suchitra Iyer has seen Sammamish’s Indian population grow since moving here in 2005. She believes music has the power to connect people and planned the free concert event to bring the community together, regardless of cultural background.
“It is not just a celebration of a specific culture but an embrace of diversity, uniting the growing Indian community in Sammamish, and providing a place to sing along with the joy of music and togetherness,” said Iyer.
The event is generously supported by the Sammamish Arts Commission and will center around devotional music known as Bhakti. It will showcase the work of traditional poets, saints, and musicians from all corners of India, dating as far back as the 12th century.
“During the Indian festival season, music plays a big role,” said Iyer. “When people celebrate Navratri and Diwali in India, singing songs about Devi, an Indian goddess, is what unifies cultures and households.”
Iyer grew up in South India and is trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani music. She will perform at the event, along with six other Indian classical musicians: Vibhuti Kavishwar, Anindita Das, Sheetal Patwardhan, Minal Guhe, Deepashri Joglekar, and Manoj Deshpande. The group has known each other for years and performs together often.
“It is nice to come back post-pandemic and be back on a stage together, celebrating joy, something we all share,” Iyer said.
For details on the concert, visit the event’s Facebook page here.