Happy Diwali – A celebration abroad…without fireworks

Happy Diwali to ALL – Home and Abroad!

Happy Diwali
Happy Diwali

Over the years, while living overseas, the Diwali day has become just like any other other Indian festival day. You don’t really celebrate it, especially if it falls during a week-day when everybody is at work or school. So, what we do? We say ‘Happy Diwali’, just like we say Happy Holi, Happy Janmashtami, Happy Gurupurab…, but it doesn’t mean much. It is just like saying ‘Happy Holi’ instead of the exchange of the real colors during the Holi festival.
And sometimes, especially if it is on the week-end, we get together and celebrate with food and drinks. The fireworks are ‘optional’, mostly forgotten…

Everyone knows what Diwali symbolize; we say it all the times when we explain it to our ‘non-Indian’ colleagues and friends:
‘Diwali symbolize the victory of Good over Evil, Light over Dark…’ We have memorized it, just like little kids memorize the multiplication tables in the school, without paying any attention to the meaning.
The meaning of Diwali is not lost in translation; it is lost over time and over physical distance of countries far away from India! Continue reading “Happy Diwali – A celebration abroad…without fireworks”

A Diwali Promise


While celebrating and enjoying Diwali, you should make a promise, or two.
On this day, you might want to make a personal resolution too:

Try something new, something that is not you.
Walk a mile, or run a few; it’s good for soul, and body too.
Walk in someone else’s shoes; before judging them.
Look inside; the mirror often lacks the full picture of you.
Share something; there is always something worth giving.
Help someone; look closer, someone always needs you.
Travel and go see places, there is a world to see;
Tell a story-  an ugly, a good one, and true ones a few. Continue reading “A Diwali Promise”

Diwali in India – a foreign concept abroad!

The new generation overseas barely relates to Diwali experiences!

Happy Diwali
Happy Diwali

Yes, we celebrate Diwali in America too, in fact all over the world. By the crowd (if a few dozens of Indians qualify as a crowd!) at the Indian stores, you can tell that the desi families are getting ready for Diwali – the festival of lights.

However, unlike in India, there are no bazaars displaying the fire-crackers, there are no fresh sweets being prepared. The sulfur smell of fireworks is missing. The bustling and hustling shopping experience is not the same, not even close by any stretch of the imagination.

And then, if you look closely, only the grown-ups are much too excited about Diwali. The Indian kids in American, who have never experienced a Diwali night in India, don’t know what the big fuss is all about. One can try to explain to them what Diwali is like, but how would you do that? The Diwali scene in India is so unique, the festival involves so much desi culture, so many Indian traditions.
You can try explaining, but how…
“Well, it is a festival of lights…ummm..lots of fireworks and sweets…,” you can go on..
“Is it like Christmas?” is a common inquiry from the curious kids.
“Well, not really…”
Words fail to do justice with the description of Diwali, and especially of the Diwali night.

How would you describe the excitement and enthusiasm of every kid in India – young or teenager – on Diwali night? The day full of treats, and a night full of fireworks and lights … The kids in India, rich or poor, wait for Diwali for months. The count-down starts even before the summer is over.

On this night, the absence of moon does not mean that the dark shall prevail. The endless rows of small earthen oil lamps and candles line up the rooftops of every mansion and every hut all over. Rich or poor, every household is full of light, full of life… Continue reading “Diwali in India – a foreign concept abroad!”