Diwali celebrations are all about friends and family coming together for Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology student Devki Trivedi.

The 22-year-old art and design student was enjoying the festivities at Mokoia Campus yesterday as the amphitheatre was filled with more 100 performers, students and staff.

Deepika Dawson performs during Diwali festivities at Toi Ohomai. Photo / Ben Fraser
Deepika Dawson performs during Diwali festivities at Toi Ohomai. Photo / Ben Fraser

The crowd, which included dozens of pupils from the nearby early childhood centre, were treated to a range of performances including traditional Indian dance and song.

Trivedi said she looked forward to Diwali every year when her friends and family would decorate their houses and prepare a variety of traditional foods and sweets.

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She said India had a variety of cultures and each celebrated the day in unique ways.

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology celebrated Diwali at Mokoia Campus. Photo/ Ben Fraser
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology celebrated Diwali at Mokoia Campus. Photo/ Ben Fraser

The origins of Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights or Deepavali, was a Hindu religious festival celebrating the god Rama's homecoming to the kingdom of Ayodhya after a 14-year exile.

 Mehak Walia performs during Diwali festivities at Toi Ohomai. Photo / Ben Fraser
Mehak Walia performs during Diwali festivities at Toi Ohomai. Photo / Ben Fraser

But not only Indian culture was celebrated yesterday.

Organiser Ramanpreet Mann said it was important for all cultures to be showcased to highlight the diversity of the campus and New Zealand as a whole.

Scattered throughout the afternoon of performances also included Māori song and dance and traditional dance from Nepalese students.

"I just thought why not engage everybody, we've never done this before so we've got to do it," she said.

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Another highlight of the afternoon included the selection of Mr and Miss Diwali where those dressed in traditional clothing showcased their attire and the crowd decided who would take out the titles.

Mann said the festival talked about victory and "good over evil" which marked fresh beginnings for many in the Indian community.

"It's all about happiness and joy."