Essense of Diwali

The beginning of the Hindu New Year, Diwali is one of the most important festivals in India. Deepvali is the sanskrit word meaning rows of lights.

This festival commemorates Lord Rama’s return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile. Twinkling oil lamps or diyas light up every home and firework displays are common all across the country, the entrance of houses are decorated with Rangoli.. The goddess Lakshmi (consort of Vishnu), who is the symbol of wealth and prosperity, is also worshipped on this day. In the south, Diwali has two more legends connected with it. The first legend again concerns the victory of good over evil. Narakasura the demon of hell, challenged Krishna to battle. After a fierce fight lasting two days, the demon was killed at dawn on Narakachaturdashi. Talk about diversity!

The celebrations take place on the darkest night of the lunar month, Amavasya, when diyas burn and the sky is ablaze with fire crackers of all kinds. It’s not only the festival of lights, it’s also a festival of colours. True, Indian colours that adorn places of worship and decorate houses across the country.

It’s an occasion for families to meet and catch up with each other. It is also the perfect occasion to catch up with close friends with whom you always mean to spend time with, something you never quite get around to doing in the hustle and hurry of everyday life.

History:

Images:

Celebrations:

How to wish someone for diwali:

You either say “Happy Deepavali” (dee-paa-va-lee) to a South Indian & “shubh diwali” (shoob-dee-va-lee) to a North Indian

 

diwali to me:

Diwali to me brings plesant memories of back home and my childhood days. Growing up the objective for me and brother was two fold: Be the first ones in the street to wake people with firecrackers. We were fed a scary appetizer Marunthu which we used to detest. The bottom line was food, crackers, relatives and a good freaking time! Brings back plesant memories. Celebrations in the US boils down to lunches and parties with friends. Anyways hope you all have a happy Deepavali!

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9 thoughts on “Essense of Diwali”

  1. First of all, Shubh Diwali.

    My name is Raka, living in Bali, and island where most of the population has Hindu as their religion.

    It’s amazing to know the practice of Hindu in Bali and India is quite different. For example: we don’t have Diwali Day. Instead, we have Nyepi day as our Caka New Year. Many other small things like that.

    Well, I guess that’s normal, different place, different history, different tradition.

    Again, Happy Diwali.

  2. I could empathise with you Arjun. It seems to me quite clearly that in their effort to demean India and deny its prowess the western media enjoys keeping the Kashmir issue alive and in dispute. In their fake effort of being non-partisan they have literally been patting on Pakistan’s back by maligning Indian. I think showing an erroneous Indian map is almost like attacking India.

    Leaving CNN aside, this hypocricy could be find even at a level you would not expect it to exist. I have been an editor at dmoz open directory and once objected to at the erroneous Indian Map Mozilla image(http://dmoz.org/img/moz/india1.gif) used at many places in dmoz directory (see http://dmoz.org/Regional/Asia/India/) at their editors forum and requested them to either change it or remove it.

    To my surprise many of the editors blatantly refued it, one of them made fun of me and defiantly said that he would use it (it is still being used). Incidently one of editors most vociferous while objecting to my demand was an editor of Indian origin settled in London. Just read what he had to say:
    —————
    >>>It does not display the disputed area of Kashmir as part of India.

    This is not quite correct. All of Jammu and Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan, so it is all disputed. The map shows the area that is under India’s physical control. In addition it shows clearly as part of India, the Aksai Chin area, which has actually been under Chinese control for at least 40 years.

    >>>it sure agrieves many Indians like me.

    Doing something else would aggrieve Pakistanis.
    What we have now seems to me to be a reasonable compromise. This compromise is widely used in the rest of the world (i.e. outside the two disputing countries).
    ————–
    I was atleast happy that some of the Indian editors also projected their views, one of them pointed to the 4 versions of the map being used http://www.cifjkindia.org/legal_docs/legal_docs_009.shtml

  3. Arjun,
    I think the website layout could have confused people a bit. Although it is not that apparent but peple are probably used to having comments like below the post and that is what has happened here – comments line for this Diwali post is below the CNN post and was probably assumed as the comments link for the CNN post.

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