You can take out a Punjabi out of Punjab, but you can’t take Punjab out of the Punjabi.
Our Phagwara, Sangrur and Jalandhar are celebrating Diwali in Melbourne, Toronto and Vienna—distance definitely doesn’t play a spoilsport for our Punjabi diaspora. HT City speaks to some Punjabi NRIs to know their joyful Diwali plans.
Sunam (Sangrur) boy, Baljinder Singh, who shifted to Adelaide, South Australia, after marrying his better half Anjalika Kapoor, just a few months back, is a senior graphic designer at a printing company called Pace Print. About his Diwali plans he says, “A huge Diwali mela was put up in Melbourne and we reveled in the festivities. We’re not getting the day off here, so most of us will be celebrating over the weekend. It’s my first Diwali without family. We have called our friends home for Diwali puja and dinner. We will see an amalgam of cultures as we are expecting a Pakistanti friend, a friend from Sri Lanka and local friends will also be joining us. Though I will miss my family, technology [software such as Facetime] will keep me connected.”
While some have families in ‘pardes’ to celebrate the festival, others like 25-year-old Channa, who hails from Phagwara, will be celebrating Diwali alone. She shifted base to Toronto in 2010.
A student of global business at Humber College, Lakeshore, she shares, “Last year, it was really difficult for me to celebrate my first Diwali without family. Now, I have a lot of friends who are also living alone here. All of us will dress up in traditional Indian wear and visit the gurdwara, which will be followed by langar and, of course, the fireworks! Though the atmosphere isn’t even close to what we witness at home, I’m sure it’ll be loads of fun. Skype and long phone calls home will help me make up for not being with my family.”