Event Details



CAAA’s Virtual Diwali Festival
November 13, 2020

We are pleased to present CAAA’s Virtual Diwali Festival 2020!

Join fellow Cornellians, friends, and family in celebrating the festival of lights in a massive multi-tiered event co-hosted by the Cornell Asian Alumni Association and our South Asian student groups on campus.

Friday, November 13, 2020
Zoom Link provided with Registration

7:30 PM
Chai Experience, Speakers, Dinner, and Student performances

9:00 PM
Afterparty and Student/Alumni Mixer, led by our Cornell Students

Registration Details

This event is free and open to all current students, alumni, family, and friends of Cornell!

Registrants can buy tea and dinner for themselves, as well as for their children on campus or their friends and family. It will be shipped directly to them. Students can also reserve a themed Diwali dinner provided by Cornell Dining on the day of the event.

About the Event

The Chai Experience: After a micro lecture on the Indian Tea Industry from Dr. Sarah Besky, learn about and how to make one of the many South Asian variations of chai with tea from Harney and Sons Fine Teas (curated by Michael Harney ’77). 100% of the proceeds from the tea package will be donated to Cornell Promise.

Working with Cornell alumni, we bring you tea and drinks delivered to your homes and dorms!

In addition to chai, experience authentic Indian cuisine developed by the Master Chefs at ITC hotels, brought to you by Kitchens of India (organized by Susan Guerin ’83 of World Finer Foods).

Learn about our alumni in India, and how they celebrate Diwali with their Cornell family.

Watch our students, as they educate us about regional differences in Diwali celebrations and stretch their performing muscles as they provide us with singing and dancing, social distancing style.

We’ll cap off the night with a student-alumni mixer to connect our students with alumni from around the world. Mingle in small discussion groups centered around Cornell and Diwali. Share your favorite campus activities and learn about Diwali and how our students celebrate the holidays. Moderated by the students of Society for India.


Dr. Sarah Besky, Associate Professor at the ILR school
Susan Guerin ’83, President and CEO of World Finer Foods
Rishabh Gupta ’06, President of the Cornell Club of Mumbai
Michael Harney ’77, Vice President of Harney & Sons Fine Teas
Dr. Ryan Lombardi, Vice President for Student & Campus life at Cornell
Bhavani Parameswar, President of Indivate Inc. (an ITC group company)
Samir Somaiya ’90, MEng ’92, MBA ’93, Chairman of Godavari Biorefineries and President of Somaiya Vidyavihar

Involved Student Groups and Performers:

Cornell Society for India
Cornell South Asian Council
Cornell Hindu Student Council
Cornell Tarana
Cornell Anjali
Cornell Spicmacay
Cornell Bhangra
Asha Cornell
and more!

Dress Code: Your favorite zoom-meeting outfit.

If you want to get dressed up for Diwali please do!
Not sure what to wear? If in doubt, wear Cornell Red.

The Menu

Just for Students

CAAA has partnered with Cornell Dining to provide a themed Diwali Meal on November 13, 2020, for students to pick up from Satellite Locations. 


Chicken OR Tofu Tikka, with curried peas, potatoes, cumin carrots, and jasmine rice. 
Each choice also comes with a side of garlic naan bread, chutney, beverage, and a boxed dessert. 

All meals will need to be reheated. Pick up a meal and heat it up to eat during the program! 

Alert: Meals can be pre-ordered beginning on Saturday, November 7. 

Meals can be ordered through the GET app and require a meal swipe. 
Meals can be picked up during lunch 11:30am – 2pm or dinner 5:30pm – 8pm at one of four satellite locations: Noyes Lobby, RPCC Service Desk, Appel Service Desk, Willard Straight Hall Resource Center. 

The Tea

Curated Tea Package: Organic Ginger Tea (20 sachets), and a custom Chai blend (4 oz) created specifically for Cornellians! (Link to company chai is for picture reference only).
Generously provided by Michael Harney ’77, of Harney & Sons Fine Teas.

During the chai experience, there will be a demonstration on how to prepare chai using the Harney’s custom chai blend, but you can bring any beverage to this chai experience!

Student Price: $15.00
Alumni & Friend Price: $25.00

100% of proceeds from tea will be donated to Cornell Promise.

Alert: Order By date for the Harney Tea Package has passed.

The Dinner

Four vegetarian-friendly food packages, to serve two. Try Hyderabadi and Kashmiri biriyanis, as well as Dal Tadka and Rajma Masala.
Generously provided by Susan Guerin ’83, of World Finer Foods.

After the chai experience, there will be time to heat up and prepare the pre-packaged foods during the program.

Student/Alumni & Friend Price: $20.00

Alert: Order By date for the KOI Package has passed.


CAAA collaborated with Society for India and students on campus to bring this program to you, with the support of the A3C and South Asian Council.

Food was provided with the help of Harney and Sons Fine Teas, Kitchens of India, and Cornell Dining.

Thank you to the Cornell Club of DC, Cornell Club of San Diego, Cornell Club of Rochester, Cornell Club of NNJ, NYC Cornellians, Cornell Club of Washington, Cornell Club of Wisconsin and the Continuous Reunion Club for helping make this event as successful as possible!

Event Questions? Email Moyouri Bhattacharjee at caaa.programming@gmail.com
Registration Questions? Email Brendan West at btw27@cornell.edu

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