At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s (BCBSNE) Diwali celebration, employees enjoyed singing, laughter, food and fun while sharing in the traditions of their coworkers.

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated at BCBSNE annually. The company’s Diversity and Inclusion Business Council, which cultivates an inclusive culture, sponsors the event.

Dorina Mahler, Agile project manager, said her favorite part of the celebration was watching employees play musical chairs.

“Everyone had so much fun in a friendly dance competition,” Mahler said.

Nithya Vangala, software developer, said she most enjoyed listening to SiriChandana Goparaju, information services intern, sing Bollywood classics.

Employees had traditional Indian desserts at the event, including motichoor laddu, Mysore Pak, kaju barfi and jalebi, as well as mango candies, which Vangala said are made in India and popular with children.

Carrom, a table top game originating in India, rounded out the celebration’s activities while henna tattoos were available for purchase.

Sonali Bhowmick, software developer, sat for a henna tattoo at the event.

“I’m really happy to celebrate Diwali at work,” she said.

Mahler agreed.

“Holidays are a special time that allows everyone to learn about different cultures and traditions,” Mahler said. “When you can celebrate at work, it allows us all to share a part of our heritage, and it makes us all feel more connected.”

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