Happy Diwali

October 25, 2011

in Hindu,Memory,New Beginnings

The sparkler exuded different rays of blues, greens, and yellows. It was my first attempt at holding an actual firework in the palm of my hand. Very afraid of the sparks, I remember my Uncle in India telling me that it was a rite of passage for all children to celebrate Diwali by lighting a sparkler and swinging it around until the rays dimmed.

Years later, my memory reflects on this snippet from my life. Fourteen years old. In India. Celebrating Diwali as a young girl with my Mom, Dad, and my sister as well as my extended family. The lights shined everywhere even though it was pitch black. People laughing, eating traditional Indian sweets, and yelling, “Happy Diwali” in their best voices. The sounds and sights were new to me as a non-resident Indian. The experience, I know, now, was the most authentic Diwali I’ve experienced.

Almost 8,500 miles away, I know my relatives, as well as billions of Indians are celebrating Diwali with the same zeal as I did years ago. For many Indians, it is the single most important day because Diwali’s significance is connected to the religious, spiritual, and the wholly ordinary. Literally meaning the row of lights, Diwali signifies a new beginning along with the mark of a fresh calendar year. And the importance of that is not lost on me.

For Diwali this year, as tradition dictates, I decluttered and cleaned my home. I prepared some traditional sweets to offer the deities in our temple. In the morning, the three of us, will light a candle and honor Diwali by acknowledging our collective new beginning. After school, we will go to the local temple and watch the festivities. Over the weekend, we will attend a Diwali picnic organized by one of our friends. It’s different than the Diwali I experienced years ago as a child, but I believe the best lesson one can learn is to improvise. Perhaps at night we may light a sparkler or two and explain to our daughter what Diwali means. And I will tell her the story of my first real Diwali.

Here’s to sparklers everywhere commemorating a new beginning. Happy Diwali to all.

 

Image by denharsh

 

 

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SuziCate October 26, 2011 at 5:16 am

Lovely memories. Happy Diwali to you, Rudri.
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2 Rudri October 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Thanks Suzicate. We had a nice Diwali celebration at home.

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3 TheKitchenWitch October 26, 2011 at 5:46 am

Happy Diwali! We’ll be lighting candles today, too!
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4 Rudri October 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Kitch, Happy Diwali to you and yours too!

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5 Tiffany October 26, 2011 at 7:01 am

Happy Diwali! I’m so glad you get to celebrate. :)
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6 Rudri October 28, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Thanks Tiffany! I am glad we are having a mini-celebration too.

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7 Judy October 26, 2011 at 7:09 am

Happy Diwali Rudri:)

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8 Rudri October 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Thanks Judy. Hope you, hubby and Reizo are doing well.

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9 Stacia October 26, 2011 at 7:09 am

I’m 33 years old and still afraid of sparklers! Indian sweets? I’ll definitely celebrate with some of those, though! Happy Diwali, Rudri!
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10 Rudri October 28, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Indian sweets are a definite must during Diwali. Almost like fruit cake during Christmas :).

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11 Justine October 26, 2011 at 10:57 am

Happy Diwali to you too! We are lighting a candle today too (except it’s going in the jack o’lantern – two birds one stone?) but will be celebrating with some friends this weekend.

Nothing beats an authentic celebration but we do what we can to honor the festival, wherever we are.
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12 Rudri October 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I agree Justine. Just got to make the best of it. Hope you have a good Diwali celebration during the weekend.

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13 ayala October 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Beautiful post, Rudri. Happy Diwali to you and yours. Wishing you happiness in your celebration and always. xoxo.
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14 Rudri October 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Thanks Ayala! Appreciate the wishes of happiness.

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15 Cathy October 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Happy Diwali!
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16 Rudri October 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Thanks Cathy! Appreciate it.

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17 Jane October 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm

What a wonderful celebration. Happy Diwali, to you! I love this. Our family could use a new beginning right about now.
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18 Rudri October 28, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Thanks Jane. I hope you and your family get that new beginning soon. Sending you good vibes. xoxo

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