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Star Pipe Products Diwali Celebration Observed with Decorations, Diyas, Diverse Dishes

By Kalyani Giri

Diwali decoration at Accounting department at Star Pipe Products

Diwali decoration at Accounting department at Star Pipe Products

HOUSTON: There’s nothing like a good festive occasion to inspire creativity. Star Pipe Products, global manufacturer and supplier for a broad range of pipe fittings for water and waste water industry, celebrated Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, with spirited verve this year with employees outdoing themselves in creating a pitch-perfect ambiance of colorful conviviality at the local company headquarters located in the southwest side of this city. Aside from a lavish and diverse range of 51 vegetarian dishes created by staff members and their families, every department within the company was imaginatively decorated, reflecting the significance of the Diwali observance. Several donned Indian garments and some even brought their babies along, adding to the family atmosphere.

“We enjoy the spirit of fellowship and the chance to share the Indian culture,” said Dale Andrews, one of the longest serving employee at Star Pipe Products. “Being in this company has taught me so much about Indian hospitality and their adherence to family values.”

The potluck luncheon, held at the company’s large conference room, ran the gamut from I will say both American and Indian dishes to pastas and pastries; with enough food to serve a small army, there was something for every palate. Vice President of Star Pipe Products Dan McCutcheon’s salad teeming with shredded cabbage, all kinds of nuts and seeds, dry fried noodles, and citrus tossed in a sweet soy vinegar dressing was a huge hit. After receiving accolades for the dish, he sheepishly confessed that the dish was his wife’s concoction.

“I always enjoy participating and coordinating the pot luck for Diwali as well as the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas parties,” confided Glenda Cruickshank, employee and facilitator of the celebratory events. “Everyone joins in and brings their favorite dishes and we all enjoy each other’s company. We get to decorate the office for Diwali with beautiful sarees, garlands, and lights. We even have judges come by to see which department has the best decorations,” added Cruickshank.

For the employees at the cavernous adjoining warehouse, the company had food catered from the popular Ninfa’s Kitchen whose staff was on site preparing fresh tacos. The Star Pipe headquarters employs about 140 people.

“Over the past few years our Diwali Festival of Lights event has engaged more of our individuals and departments to participate in the preparation for Diwali by decorating areas throughout the building,” said Luis A. Garcia, Star Pipe Products Corp. Human Resources Manager. “Our unique tradition helps captures the great family spirit we have as a company.”

Pam Garey, Manager of the Customer Service Department, said she was glad of the opportunity to mingle with her colleagues.

“Events such as this give us a chance to actually sit down and eat together. There are so many new people in the company that we wouldn’t get to meet but for these festive days,” said Garey.

Without a doubt, Jeanette Garey and Cristal Januk from the Customer Service Department created a work of art out of colored powder; their rangoli, after much research and planning, took four hours to execute. The girls were delighted with the many compliments from co-workers who stopped by to view their work. Upstairs at Purchasing and New Product Development, Pallavi Parekh and Bhagwan Bhutada enthusiastically showed off a temple-themed tableau with the gods and diyas. The doors and windows had posters explaining the significance of Diwali. However, the Sales division won the first prize in the decorating competition and will be treated to lunch at a restaurant of their choice.

“This was my first experience celebrating Diwali. It was very fresh and colorful and reminded me of our Chinese Spring Festival, as togetherness is an important part of the celebration. Everyone wore beautiful fabrics and the spicy dishes were delicious too,” said Helena Haiyan Lu, a Star Pipe Products employee from the China office.

President and CEO of Star Pipe Products Ramesh Bhutada mingled with staff and shared in the camaraderie.

“The tremendous diversity here allows us to recognize and foster brotherhood. We celebrate Thanksgiving, July 4th, Christmas, and several other festive occasions,” said Bhutada. “The potluck dinners are a great way to get everyone involved and to appreciate the richness of each culture.”

The company’s next big event this year will be Thanksgiving.

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