Despite all the lights, they miss the glow !
Sweets, new clothes, lights, diyas, puja and a lot of fun — despite having all these traditional essentials, Indians living in foreign countries miss the ‘indigenous feel’ on the Diwali day.india Updated: Oct 27, 2008 13:15 IST
Sweets, new clothes, lights, diyas, puja and a lot of fun — despite having all these traditional essentials, Indians living in foreign countries miss the ‘indigenous feel’ on the Diwali day.
Having celebrated the festival umpteen number of times in its most traditional form, there is always a sense of ‘missing out something essential’ in the way it is celebrated in far off lands. Perhaps they pay this price for being away from their loved ones around this time of the year.
As our once-upon-a-time fellow countrymen reside in various parts of the world for various reasons, they experience and share the deviations that have sneaked in the manner in which Diwali is celebrated in their parts of the globe throughout these years.
Varun Dhingra, an engineer in Minnesota, USA, has been away from home in Gurgaon for almost two years now. Every year, the Hindu community in and around that area meets and celebrates the festival by lighting diyas, distributing and exchanging sweets and offering their prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. “It was celebrated in the similar way it is done back home. But something was missing. The celebrations just lacked the ‘homely feel’," is how Varun puts it.
In Cairo, Egypt, the story remains almost the same. Though the festival is not celebrated on the same day as India (due to different time zones), it is generally celebrated on the nearest weekends. TS Nanda, a geologist with an MNC, who has been staying there for more than two years now, tells us. The celebrations do vary from the traditional methods as this year the Indian Community Association of Egypt has planned to hold a musical night by Usha Utthup at the Meena Oberoi Hotel, Cairo.
“It’s different because here we are celebrating with the Indian community, not with our relatives. There is no puja, only cultural programmes and delicious Indian food,” says Nanda and adds that the benefit of celebrating Diwali there is that there is absence of pollution and crackers.
Sakshi Ojha, a student in Swansea, Wales, UK, is looking forward to the celebrations —which are being separately organised by the Indian Society in Wales and the Asian Society of Swansea University, on different days. “While the Indian society is hosting a Diwali Mela with activities such as traditional dances, fashion show, Diwali card-making, Diwali thali decoration, rangoli and henna painting, the Asian society plans to offer snacks, play music and showcase a fireworks night,” says Sakshi. So while it might sound better than our celebrations, read what she adds: ‘There are no diyas. I will miss the glow!’