Diwali: The Glue which Binds Billions
Diwali brings people together
Diwali which is known as the ‘festival of lights’ brings with it the four L’s of love, light, laughter and life.
Be it in the countryside or on the flashy apartments or at the doorsteps of a humble house in a slum across the city streets, the glow of the earthen lamps enraptures the whole of India into a warm blanket of love, unity and happiness.
If we wonder how such a diverse and huge country like India thrives despite all the dissimilarities, then it is because of festivals such as Diwali which make people from different communities, regions and backgrounds come together to light up a diya or a cracker!
When we see Diwali as one of the festivals which bind all together and unites, it is actually in the story of Diwali where all these ideals are deeply embedded. The festival is the celebration of the homecoming of a son and daughter-in-law who were in exile for a period of fourteen years. It is about a family getting reunited and also a brother (Bharata) who waited long for his exiled brother (Rama).
Diwali also reminds one of home while he/she is away from it. Home calls and so does the homeland for the ones who are staying abroad.
However, Indians living abroad have adapted Diwali in the respective countries where they live. It is an inclusive festival, and the convergences of diverse communities are starker in foreign lands.
In the financial heart of San Francisco last year, an Indian restaurant, Bamboo Asia, which was celebrating Diwali and extending it beyond the Indian community, a placard in front of a busy street read:
“Come join us after work! Celebrate Diwali, Indian festival of lights with food, friends, fun, Punjabi DJ, Bollywood dancers, puja, raffle prizes all while supporting a good cause!”
The theme was ‘Diwali with a Difference’ and a documentary on female infanticide in India was also screened.
Everywhere people have their own ways of celebrating Diwali and bonding, be it over sweets or a deck of cards or bursting crackers. There are many other activities which bind people together on Diwali such as social or cultural events.
The joy of Diwali transcends all limitations as it is that day when the darkness of ignorance is overcome by the light of wisdom. The whole point of the celebration of the victory of light over darkness boils down to that!
Diwali brings everyone out of their mansions or flashy apartments or from the slums across the streets to join in the celebrations and merry-making. Won’t it be amazing if those acts of togetherness which are quite normal and welcome on this auspicious day become a reality?