Happy Diwali!

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Happy Diwali!

Diwali is the festival of lights in India. It happens on the darkest night when the moon is the most veiled. It is one of the few Indian holidays I remember celebrating in my family. My first instinct was to write a post about Diwali to explain it but then I realized as an American girl, I know more about Thanksgiving, Halloween and Columbus Day. So I made a call to the farm and got my Dad on the line who described Diwali in the way only my Dad knows how.

“In the olden days we celebrated the rainy season, the monsoon season is over. The houses and streets are all mud and people are so happy to have the rain end. It’s when the end of the corn and rice crop is harvested and people celebrate. Diwali is the celebration of the season’s changing.” He also went on to explain that Diwali is the festival of lights. Why is that I ask my Dad. “Why is that?? Because everyone likes light, who likes to be in the dark?” Maybe you had to be there to think that statement is funny, but hearing my Dad say that made me smile.

Diwali is also a celebration of good over evil. In Hindu Mythology it’s the epic story of the God Rama overcoming evil to be with his love Sita. In Sikhism, which is my religion and culture, Diwali represents the Sikh’s success in a long struggle for freedom. It is a very special holiday and celebrated with gagillions of lights surrounding Shri Darbar Sahib in Amritsar, which is the most sacred place for the Sikh’s.

Tonight my parent’s will celebrate Diwali very simply on the farm. My mom will light candles using “desi” oil or mustard oil. She will put candles around the house and be grateful for the lives and opportunities they have in America. My dad will probably watch his Indian news and soap operas on TV. What will I do for Diwali this year? I’ll light candles and send friends and family good wishes and light.

  • http://michael.silverton.palo-alto.ca.us/ silverton

    Happy Dawali!

  • http://twitter.com/sukhjit sukhjit

    @silverton

  • robwatts

    Belated Diwali wishes Sukhjit, we have a few colleagues out in Pune, India, those guys were pretty fired up over Diwali. It's always good to get fresh perspectives on different cultural things, I love the story of good over evil, light over darkness, great great comparators that have informed many a tradition.

    BTW – what a fab little site you have here, well done! :)

  • Preet

    Dear Sikhjit,
    It is great to celebrate the festivals here is US away from India. The tradition keeps the heart close to the roots. Your Dad explained it to the Tee. I love this festival because it reminds me of old days back in India when my brother, sister and I use to light the candles go to the temple and then do the fireworks. Fun, happiness, light and specially food is every where. It's an experience to celebrate Diwali in India. Food is unbelievable and Diwali sweets are exchanged with friends and family. Just wonderful you have to see it to believe it.

    BTW:
    wonderful site ..good job :-)

  • http://twitter.com/sukhjit sukhjit

    Preeth! I'm so glad you left a comment. It's great to hear about your Diwali experience. I always value hearing about the traditions in your family before you moved to the US. Although we try and keep as much of the culture and traditions as we can, it still changes a bit with every generation. I also find myself more curious about Indian traditions as I get older. As a kid it was we were always more influenced by American customs and traditions. I think there can be a balance. Anyway. Biggggg hugs to you and the family. Aloha.

  • http://twitter.com/sukhjit sukhjit

    Hi Rob! Thanks so much for leaving a comment here! I really appreciate it. I was actually pretty surprised by the number of people who said this was the first they heard of Diwali. That's cool! Not sure if you saw the comment after yours from Preet, but she is from India, she married my cousin and moved to the states about 10 years ago. Hearing her talk about about Diwali makes me love it even more. It truly is a holiday to celebrate happiness, light and optimism.

    Anyway… I am so very happy you found my site and stopped by. Hope you feel comfortable leaving a video comment sometime too! It's actually really fun. I'm working hard to make this a fun and interesting site that I hope people will come visit often! — sukhjit

  • robwatts

    Seesmic video reply from Disqus.

  • http://reveda.blogspot.com/ revedablogspot

    Belated happy diwali, you know I arrived on this earth just after Diwali. I wish to follow your blog and be followed too.

  • http://twitter.com/sukhjit sukhjit

    Thank you my dear. I've bookmarked your site. Best wishes to you!

  • http://reveda.blogspot.com/ revedablogspot

    Belated happy diwali, you know I arrived on this earth just after Diwali. I wish to follow your blog and be followed too.

  • http://twitter.com/sukhjit sukhjit

    Thank you my dear. I've bookmarked your site. Best wishes to you!