Oracle's affinity groups work hard to showcase the diversity and talent here at Oracle. The members of Oracle's Indian Affinity Group wanted to do something special to mark this year's Diwali, a festival of lights celebrated throughout the world.
Diwali is the most celebrated festival across India. The party at Oracle headquarters included an afternoon of singing, dancing, henna tattooing, and, of course, plenty of food.
This is the seventh year the affinity group has planned a Diwali celebration. Employees and their families attended the party on Friday, Oct. 24th at Club Oracle. It was so crowded, that some people had to be turned away. Oracle employees in Denver, Colorado and Pleasanton, California, threw similar, smaller celebrations.
It's important for people to interact with people in different continents, different countries, and different cultures," says Aravind Giri, who has coordinated the Denver celebration in the past. "Events like these definitely help to create cultural awareness."
Oracle Diversity sponsored all three events. For the event at headquarters, Club Oracle provided a free space, both for crucial rehearsals and for the event itself. Club Oracle staff also helped with decorations and security. "Oracle Diversity is proud to sponsor events like the Diwali celebration, which provide participants with a stronger connection between the workplace and their heritage, and enhance their experience as Oracle employees," says Jane Robertson, the director of Diversity. "The Diwali event showcased the richness of the Indian culture—and of Oracle's culture."
These type of celebrations would not be possible without dedicated committee members and participants, who give up weeknights and weekends for planning and rehearsals, and donate everything from food to costumes, to make sure that the event is a success. Watching the different ways people choose to participate—whether by cooking, singing or by participating in a dance routine—also revealed employee's individual interests. One of the group's goals has been to give a platform for Oracle families interested in Indian culture—no matter what their ethnic background—to perform and share their talents with their coworkers.
It was hard work, but worth it to see everyone come together, especially at a company as large as Oracle, where it can be difficult to get to know people outside of your division. People from all departments participated in these events, and because of this, employees were able to network and get to know more about the different aspects of Oracle.
The Indian Affinity Group plans to keep celebrating Diwali each year, and hopes to work on some additional events throughout the year. "You really have to see it to believe the euphoria that comes at the end of the event, and the kind of commitment and effort that goes into getting this done," says Madhavi Jain, who has worked on PR for the event and has been the master of ceremonies. "It's a wonderful thing that gets done."