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Happy Diwali!

October 16, 2009

With everything going on at the moment Diwali really snuck up on me. Literally, I woke up this morning and (Ah!) there it was! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to join in on any of the public festivities this year, but seeing as Diwali is such an important Indian holiday, I had to at least post something in celebration.

Like many things South Asian, there is no concrete definition of Diwali. The India Tribune ran an article this year listing 12 different reasons for the celebration and I doubt that is the full extent. In his book, India: From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond, Sharshi Tharoor described the culture in general in this way: “Everything exists in countless variants. There is no single standard, no fixed stereotype, no ‘one way’,” and that principle certainly applies in this case. The answer to why depends on who you talk to and what their particular background is (check out Obama’s Diwali message on YouTube to get a couple of different variations). This is also a five day festival which is not determined by the Gregorian calendar so the date(s) are malleable.

What does seem to be pretty constant is the lights and the food. In India, in additional to puja, lamps are lit everywhere. But here most celebrations center around puja, the buffet table, and fireworks. For myself, I think I will see if I can scrounge up some Dahi Bhatata Puri at my favorite go-to spot, Uru-swati, and light a few candles.

I wish everyone a Happy Diwali! May this day bring you happiness, health, and wealth!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Tita Ali permalink
    October 16, 2009 10:25 am

    Happy Diwali to you too! :o)

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