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Celebrating Diwali

Continuing the tradition...

Gulf News

Every year Diwali is celebrated to mark the completion of the Hindu deity Rama’s return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. I have very fond memories of celebrating Diwali through my growing up years in Mumbai, I miss the fun and frolic - especially the excitement of Diwali fireworks. Now as an adult living in the Dubai, I think it is good for the environment that fireworks here are heavily regulated.

I remember a childhood where regardless of religion, caste or colour, all communities came together be it Hindus, Muslims or Christians, to celebrate what was primarily a Hindu festival. We all looked forward to celebrating the festival of lights.

Since I want my children not to miss out on the kind of fun I had, we celebrate the festival in our own little way. I make sure to do everything as I had seen my mother do, starting with taking the traditional oil bath, I make traditional sweets at home with ingredients brought in from India, we perform the customary prayers and decorate the entrance to our apartment with colourful rangoli patterns. Colourful diyas or mud lamps are specifically flown in from Mumbai, they bring about sweet happy childhood memories and I once again become that tiny little excited girl I once was, waiting to open my new gifts.

The day of Diwali starts with the children adorning new traditional clothes and exchanging sweets with friends and family.

We call up our parents, in-laws and loved ones in India. This year was extra special since I convinced my mother to visit us during Diwali along with my eldest son, Tanishq, who is pursuing higher education at an university in India.

While Diwali is a celebration of the victory of good over evil, which we try to teach our kids and hopefully pray that they continue the tradition. We strongly believe in a noise free Diwali since firework factories employ children to make them, these also pollute the environment and create noise pollution that affects all. Hope the spirit of Diwali lives and lights up the world and people spread love, and not war.

- The reader is a sales and marketing manager based in Dubai