Dubai: Indian expats in the UAE are all set to mark Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
Diwali or Deepavali is a Sansktrit word meaning a row of lights. It gets its name from the lamps (or deepa) that people light for Diwali. The festival celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil.
As families gear up for the festival, Nikki Shah, mother and influencer, said: “To me, Diwali is more than just traditional rituals. It is a profound experience. Besides customary tasks like cleaning and decluttering our physical spaces, it is also a time for cleansing our minds and hearts, making way for goodness, prosperity and boundless joy. What is truly enchanting about Diwali is how it unites families and communities. We exchange gifts, not just as token of love but to express gratitude to one another. Diwali brings people from all walks of life together, spreading the message of unity and shared celebrations.”
Shah said she is looking forward to a vibrant Diwali celebration with her family and close relatives.
Preparations for Diwali
Falguni Dave who lives in Bur Dubai said preparations for Diwali begin days before the festival. “We clean the house, make sweets and other treats to distribute among friends and family. Rangoli making with flowers and coloured powder is a big affair and of course, lighting lamps is a way to bring positivity into our lives.”
Falguni said her building in Bur Dubai has been lit up for over a week now. “The entire area looks festive and ready to welcome Diwali.”
She said, “During Diwali, we teach other to care and share. The lamps light up not just our homes but our lives too. It is a very social festival.”
Praveen Kumar Amarnath and his wife Reshma along with their sons Neel and Meet are also set to ring in Diwali with positivity. “Diwali is a festival we look forward to every year. It is a very special occasion and we welcome it with great enthusiasm and vigour.”
Reshma said ahead of the festival, women usually buy gold, even silver. “I have done my jewellery shopping. We will also be doing a special prayer at our office and home,” she said, adding that she will be exchanging gifts with family, friends and colleagues.
The Indian expat said Diwali is a time when families host and attend parties, with dates being booked a month in advance.
Veena Mony and her husband Sukumar said, “Our prayers and celebrations will start early in the morning on the day of Diwali. We wake up early, bathe and then light lamps, wear new clothes and pray for the well-being of family and friends.”
Sukumar added that preparations of sweets and savouries is a major part of the festival. “This usually gets done a week in advance so they can be shared with family and friends. We have placed small lamps or diyas at the entrance of our house and in the garden area,” she added.