Several of people multiple cultures joined Indian expats to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, in style and spread the communal camaraderie in Dubai.
Filipina Grace Ann, a buyer with a fashion retail chain, said she and her colleagues celebrated Diwali at their Dubai office wearing Indian attires.
“This is the third year we are celebrating Diwali in our office. This is an occasion I look forward to celebrating as our Indian colleagues help us wear sari and we have their traditional games and food and sweets,” Ann told Gulf News.
“It’s a different experience and it is so much of fun. Ten years back I only knew Indians wear colourful clothes for Diwali and they have fireworks. Now I am part of the celebrations and it is getting bigger and better every year,” she said.
Diwali signifies the victory of the good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. But, here in Dubai, it also signifies the victory of community spirit of cultural differences, said Vandana Srivastav, an advocate.
Her friend Richa Gupta, a freelance recruitment consultant who hosted a Diwali party during the weekend, said: “We do all the rituals in the traditional way. It has become an occasion for us to help people of diverse cultures to know about the Indian traditions.”
Irish entrepreneur Shirley Conlon, who founded her eco-chic organic skincare brand, said living in a multicultural place like Dubai has helped her celebrate festivals of different countries. Celebrating Diwali with her Indian friends has inspired her to wear Indian attires on different occasions, said Conlon who had been to different places in India thrice since last year.
Santhanam Sridhar, general manager of Al Nabooda Interiors, said this year’s Diwali celebration at his sister’s place would have Arabs and Filipinos joining them for dinner. “We also have 12 guests who have flown in from India to spend Diwali holidays here. It is a great feeling to celebrate our culture and traditions and bridge the gap between communities.”
Meanwhile, official celebrations organised by Dubai Tourism and the Indian Consulate in Dubai since Thursday continued with a fireworks display at The Pointe in Palm Jumeirah on Saturday night and a series of activities and another splendid display of fireworks at Al Seef on Sunday night.