The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 11, 1996, Page 6, Image 6

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Winter brings cultural holidays
Diwali festival celebrates Hindu new year
with lights, religious mythology fireworks
By Sarah Baker
Staff Reporter
■ "
Though most people are just start
ing to admire their holiday lights, the
Indian “festival of lights” has already
marked a new year.
Diwali, the Indian “festival of
lights,” is a prominent religious and
social holiday celebrated in India, the
United States and at the University of
Ron Bishu, a professor in the Col
lege of Engineering and Technology,
said he celebrates Diwali.
People traditionally celebrate
Diwali by donning new clothes, offer
ing gifts and lighting firecrackers.
“It is a mix of the American Christ
mas and Fourth of July,” Bishu said.
The festival lasts five days — the
11 th to 15th days of the Ashwin month
of the Hindu Calendar. On a contem
porary calendar, this translates to early
to mid-November.
The 15th day is Diwali, the main
day of celebration. The day after
Diwali is the beginning of the new year
on the Hindu calendar.
The holiday is usually celebrated
in early morning or late night. Celebra
tions and myths surrounding the cel
ebration vary across regions.
In the northwest parts of India, the
religious mythology tells the story of
the Lord Krishna killing a demon
named Narakasur, who represents evil.
People usually associate the Lord
Krishna myth with Diwali.
The mythology is different in the
eastern part of India, where the god
dess Kalipuya is worshipped as a sym
bol of discipline.
The Indian Student Association
celebrated Diwali Night on Nov. 3, and
the Hindu Temple of Nebraska cel
ebrated the holiday on Nov. 16.
Kwanzaa honors
social, spiritual
needs during week
KWANZAA from page 1
and drinks from the cup. Every
one says “harambee” — which
means “let’s pull together”—and
drinks from the cup.
Throughout the week-long
celebration participants greet
each other with “Habari Gani,”
which means “How are you?”
Because Kwanzaa is cel
ebrated in December, it is often
considered a substitute for Christ
mas. But Cedric McClester, au
thor of “Kwanzaa: Everything
You Always Wanted to Know but
Didn’t Know Where to Ask,”
says it is better described as a
cultural affirmation.
He said Kwanzaa is a time for
African-Americans to reflect
upon their African past and
American present.
1 Radio listeners make donations to family
GIFTS from page 1
furniture they needed.
The radio station has not been in
touch with the family and is not releas
ing its name, but it has talked to a char
ity organization that will help distrib
ute donations to the family.
Telephone operators at the studio
quit counting donation calls at 500.
Generous callers wanting to offer time
or donations ate up all the music pro
gramming slots on the 102.7 FM sta
tion. *
“We had to throw the rest of the
show out the window,” Tooker said.
Randy Robbins, operations man
ager at the station, said he arrived at
work only to find a big surprise — a
huge mishmash of all kinds of dona
tions in the lobby.
“I said, ‘Gee, Dan, what’s all this
stuff in the front lobby all over the
place?”’ Robbins said. He said he was
amused and pleased by the announcer’s
on-the-spot philanthropy.
Robbins said people expect radio
stations to have contests and play good
music, “but just how good a commu
nity member are we?”
“That kind of stuff is real impor
tant to us. We live here, too.”
Donations slowed late Tuesday af
ternoon but people were still coming
by the station to drop off donations, and
interested donors were still leaving
their phone numbers.
The station plans to throw a lis
tener-appreciation party on Dec. 21.
Listeners with large donations, such as
couches, will meet those who have
volunteered to offer their trucks to
move the items.
They will then deliver the large
stash of goods to the family, and be
treated to a reception at bw-3, a res
taurant downtown on P Street.
Tooker’s approach to helping the
family encouraged listeners, Robbins
But Tooker won’t take the credit.
“I threw it up against the wall,” he
said. “But now everyone else is mak
ing it stick.”
Raid unveils illegal
aliens working
in Omaha
OMAHA (AP) —-Immigration
agents raided the city’s garbage-haul
ing company at daybreak Tuesday and
arrested 78 suspected illegal aliens,
about half the work force.
A law enforcement officer appar
ently fired a shot at the tires of a car
fleeing from Deffenbaugh Industries
during the raid. No one was hurt and
the car got away.
The immigrant workers—most of
them from Mexico and two from Cen
tral America—admitted they were in
the United States illegally, said Jerry
Heinauer, state director of the Immi
gration and Naturalization Service.
Those arrested were taken to the
Dawson County jail in Lexington,
where Heinauer said there would be
room to hold them until a federal air
craft could return them to Mexico on
U.S. Attorney Tom Monaghan and
INS officials would, not comment on
whether Deffenbaugh would face
charges in the hiring of illegal immi
INS officials said Deffenbaugh was
not notified of the raid, but the com
pany cooperated with authorities once
the operation began. The plant had
about 150 workers on site during the
In a statement issued by
Deffenbaugh, James Godfrey, general
manager of the company, said: “These
workers had previously provided the
company with apparent proper identi
fication to secure employment with the
company. Deffenbaugh Industries be
lieves that they have followed all ap
plicable federal and state regulations
in the hiring of its workers.”
Omaha Public Works Director Don
• ! '
Students offered discounts
from Internet providers
INTERNET from page 1
age plans: 15 hours for $6.50; 40
hours for $10; and unlimited hours
for $19. NAVIX claims it will not
charge customers who use its ser
vice for less than five hours a month.
The special rates are $ 10 to $ 15 less
than the regular rates.
Either company will enable stu
dents to access their e-mail and use
software for the World Wide Web.
Both companies use 28,800 baud
modems. Also, Internet Nebraska
allows its subscribers to post their
own web page.
“We are pumped up to be able
to serve students, and we will be
ready to go in January,” said Eric
Erlandson, director of operations
for Internet Nebraska.
Despite initial student com
plaints, Michalecki said university
officials feel confident that elimi
nating the modem pool will benefit
“Once people get past the idea
that they have to pay for something
that was free, they will see the
Internet opening up to them and re
alize that what they got free wasn’t
very much.”
Elliott said the city was aware of ru
mors of undocumented workers at the
company but did not investigate or
contact the INS about the rumors. He
said the city was unaware of the
planned raid.
The city’s garbage collection was
delayed Tuesday, while temporary
workers were hired.
Bob Sink, manager of environmen
tal quality with the city’s Public Works
Department, said about two-thirds of
the company’s 3S trucks were running.
Typically, each truck is manned with a
driver and two helpers to pick up trash.
“Apparently, the individuals that
were sequestered by the INS were their
helpers. All of their drivers are still
there,” Sink said.
Heinauer said the Deffenbaugh in
vestigation began in January after the
INS received at least four tips that there
may be illegal workers at the company.
That same month, Deffenbaugh took
over the city’s seven-year garbage con
Jerry Younger, secretary-treasurer
of Teamsters Union Local 554, said it
could have been some of the union
pickets at the plant that provided those
tips. The union is picketing
DefFenbaugh because of the company’s
reluctance to negotiate with employ
ees who joined the Teamsters.
“It seemed to be common knowl
edge that this company had plugged
into the pipeline, bringing illegals in
to work like some of the meatpackers
have doner Younger said. “It doesn’t
really surprise us. We certainly be
lieved they were in there.”
Heinauer confirmed a shot was
fired at a fleeing vehicle during the
raid. Witnesses said it appeared that
two people were in the car.
Tuesday’s raid was the first time
that an immigration agent had fired his
gun during an immigration raid in Ne
braska, Heinauer said. The INS will
conduct an internal investigation in the
shooting as it does any time a weapon
is discharged.