The Armanino IDEAL (Inclusion of Diverse Employees and Leaders) team is continuously looking for ways to ensure every Armanino employee feels respected and valued for their uniqueness and experiences. With such a diverse group at the firm, we were thrilled to host our first ever firm-wide celebration of Diwali.
We took some time out to discuss with Business Technology Manager Sountheriya Kalimuthu and Director and Strategic People Partner Vickie Moul about what Diwali means and how we are commemorating the holiday.
What is the significance of Diwali?
Diwali is the Indian festival of light and a recognition of the triumph of good over evil. As Sountheriya noted, this year’s festival could not have come at a better time. 2020 has been a difficult year with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was nice to celebrate an event about light, happiness, love and positivity.
How is Armanino celebrating Diwali?
We hosted a virtual Diwali celebration on Friday, November 13 with food, fun and dance. Vickie emphasized that it was exciting to celebrate the event through our people for our people. The event highlighted professionals of all levels at our firm who are from all across India. They shared what Diwali means to them and how they traditionally celebrate. In several cases they were joined remotely by their families and friends, providing us all with a close glimpse into their lives.
Sountheriya (originally from Tamil Nadu) was joined over Zoom by two of her cousins who performed a prayer, showed us how to make dried fruit laddu and taught our colleagues and friends about the significance of various components of Diwali, including diyas (clay lamps), rangoli (colorful designs made of sandstone and flowers) and bountiful sweets that mark the end of the harvest season. Tax Senior Nash Naidoo (whose ancestors are from the Union Territory of Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu) explained the meaning and importance of each of the five days of the traditional Diwali celebration.
Jessie Singh (originally from Punjab), Himanshu Nigam (originally from Uttar Pradesh), Jay Padimiti (originally from Andhra Pradesh), Shreyasee Patil and Hiten Trivedi (both originally from Maharashtra) and Avani Patel (originally from Gujarat) spoke about their childhoods and Diwali traditions.
Just like previous IDEAL events, the Diwali celebration was led by an amazing and diverse group of people working together.
How have employees responded to what they’ve learned?
We have received so many powerful comments about the event. Our people are excited about the diversity of our Armanino family and proud to be a part of an organization that celebrates all of our various cultures.