Celebrating Diwali at LinkedIn on Culture inDay [SLIDESHOW]

November 20, 2012

Editor’s Note: Once a month, we set aside a Friday for employees to focus on investing in themselves and their community. It’s a day our employees spend outside their daily task list and transform. Check out other inDay posts.

At LinkedIn, we have a vibrant company culture that celebrates customs and traditions from around the world. This November’s Culture themed inDay was a reflection of just that.

From Mountain View to Toronto to Mumbai, we celebrated the Indian festival Diwali. Diwali is also known as the Festival of Lights and is celebrated in India by lighting small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. Since I was a child, my family members have gathered on this day every year to celebrate with Indian sweets and fireworks. I was given the opportunity again this year to organize our annual Diwali celebration at LinkedIn headquarters.

At our Mountain View headquarters, we danced to a few Bollywood numbers and my musically talented colleagues sang melodious Bollywood songs. We also had incredible performances by professional Bollywood dance groups ‘'Nach ke Dekh’ and 'Jhankaar Beats'. The highlight of the evening was definitely LinkedIn's version of KBC, the Indian version of “Who wants to be a Millionaire”, where employees were given the opportunity to answer questions about Indian culture and history like “Which of these is a Hindi name for a yellow colored flower?” The correct answer? Surajmukhi. We also stuffed our bellies full of Indian delicacies, sweets and snacks like kulfi (milk dessert).

Diyas, small clay lamps filled with oil, lit the way for our Toronto team. They started the festivities with a video about the significance of Diwali, then took part in singing and dancing to Bollywood songs. They also ran a Saree tying contest, taught everyone to dance “garba” style and played a game of cricket. The celebrations ended with a great Indian meal followed by Indian sweets.

It was truly amazing to see so many of my colleagues dressed up in traditional sarees and kurtas. The atmosphere on inDay was so full of life and energy. I am thankful to have had another opportunity to share Diwali with LinkedIn colleagues from around the world.