When the lights of Diwali make way for Christmas, away from home

When the lights of Diwali make way for Christmas, away from home

As we unboxed our fairy lights, ironed our new sarees and kurtas, lit the beautifully ornamented diyas (oil lamps) and munched all week long on our favourite mithais (sweets), we bring this year’s Diwali festivities to an end and enter ‘tis very merry season to be jolly’.

While I sat by my window with the autumn breeze in the air, I reminisced about the celebrations back home in India. Beginning with my desi mom’s much-loved month in advance decluttering of unwanted goods that I hoarded. Then sliding into the days nearing the festival where I packed all my creativity into paper lanterns which were then hung at our doorstep along with the rangoli patterns, prettifying the ambience.

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On the eve of the festival that marks the victory of good over evil, my native land in Goa commemorates the killing of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna’s wife Sathyabhama by burning the effigies. What starts off with a holy sandalwood and scented oil bath and aarti (prayers) continues with relatives and friends gathered around playing taash (cards) and sharing the good times over drinks and dinner.

Echoing laughter, hot gossips and kids running about is what I thought I was missing out on. Nevertheless, Diwali in the United Kingdom has been as much joy as it was back home. From dinner parties to potlucks with new faces, my agenda was jam-packed with a lot of fun. On a sombre educational note from my housemates, I learnt about the Nepali tradition of Bhai Tika during which they re-enact the story of Lord Yama and his sister Yamuna.

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Certainly, the student population across the UK was not far behind with their celebrations. While some offered their prayers at temples, a whole lot visited the grand fêtes at Trafalgar Square in London and Belgrave Road in Leicester and some simply enjoyed Scottish delicacies with friends from the highlands. From game nights at their university parties to lighting the skies with fireworks, iGlobal gets a sneak peek at the student’s galleries.

Rigid as it may sound, let’s us try to celebrate Diwali in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way in the years to come. And, as we get ready for Christmas, some of us still away from home, we can start that journey with that.

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