By: Staff Writer Hairol Ma
At 6:30 PM, Freshmen Tulika Mohanti, Neha Saxena, and Nitya Taravakil performed a Bollywood dance for the cheering audience. Dressed in black tops and skirts covered with blue sashes shot with strands of gold and pink, the trio whirled across the stage to a snappy beat and crooning vocals. “We’re dancers for cancer!” said Taravakil. “We like to share our cultural traditions with everyone, especially at events like this,” Mohanti said.
The Luminaria Ceremony took place at 8 PM. Lighted candles tucked in paper bags lined the perimeter of the track, casting a warm glow around the field. A crowd gathered in the middle of the field, and the ceremony began with Sophomore Bianca Batiancila’s rendition of Jordin Spark’s “One Step at a Time.” Next, Senior David Ma gave an inspirational speech about his battle against cancer. “Cancer is about the despair I felt when I was diagnosed, the nausea I experienced during chemotherapy… but it’s also about the support all my doctors, nurses, family, and friends showed me,” said Ma. “When you relay, you change someone’s entire world.”
After Ma’s speech, Sophomore Soukhya Inamdar sang Demi Lovato’s “Nightingale.” The crowd hen to the edge of the field to receive and light candles. Students, parents, and teachers paraded around the track with their lighted candles, cherishing the memories of those who lost their battle with cancer, and those still fighting against it.
Photos: Staff Writer Lillian Zhao