Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Today is the start of Diwali, the Indian festival of light.

Now I’m not Indian, nor do I have any Indian connections, but I do feel that to become a truly diverse but unified society (and in my opinion unification is important - separation just doesn’t do society any good) we should all not only respect one another’s traditions but actually participate in them, to a greater or lesser degree, depending on our spiritual beliefs (some will clash just too much to expect mutual participation) and personal circumstances.

Of course, nobody can be expected to celebrate every event in the calendar of such as diverse society as the UK - we’d probably end up having some kind of celebration every week - but Diwali’s a big one so to mark the occasion, we’re having a candlelit curry tonight.

I'm having a couple of friends over for the evening and LM will be home. I'll be lighting lots of tea lights around the living room, the big candles on the table, and cooking a chicken tikka masala. Yes, before you start shouting about tikka not really being Indian, I know all that but it’s the only curry LM will eat so tikka it will be. Well, that and colonial beef curry, and that’s certainly not authentic Indian either. We’ll have it with rice and naan bread and garnished with fresh coriander (sadly not from my garden - it died) and we'll have a laugh as well as talk about what Diwali is - a celebration of good over evil in humans.

Sometimes it’s difficult to believe that good can and actually does win over evil - what with the papers and telly news being full of stories of murder, rape, bullying and the rest - but there are actually far more good people in this world than bad.

The light that’s celebrated isn’t light as we generally think of it, but the spiritual light within each of us and thus Diwali is a kind of celebration of our spiritual birth as human beings so it’s a time when we should try to learn ways of being more benevolent ourselves in order to being more good into the world and make it a better place for everybody. If that isn’t something worth doing then I don’t know what is.

I’m quite looking forward to it :)

Sharon J

PS: I bet Emma will be having a whale of a time during Diwali and posting some fab photos :)


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Teena said...

Here here Sharon... accepting and participating in other cultures helps us best understand each other and ultimately our combined cultures will entwine and create a community that we can all be proud of.

Vicus Scurra said...

Sal mubarak

Sharon J said...

@ Teena. Wouldn't it be wonderful if rascismm disappeared forever? Wishful thinking though - I can't see it ever happening. Still, the more people who accept that other cultures are just different and not strange, the closer we'll get :)

@ Vicus. And the same to you with bells on! But have a happy new year anyway :)

emmani said...

Great post Sharon (as usual!) I've missed reading you. We are just chilling at a friends here in Bombay. I have got some nice pics, i hope I get a chance to post them today...

Happy Diwali!

wombat064 said...

In the northern hemisphere you are also aproaching Sahlmain ( Wiccan) the time for celebrating life and also the time when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest a time to be close to those that have passed.

Down south its almost Beltain a time of great fires, joy, singing, dancing and procreation.

It just goes to show It doesn't really matter who or what we are or believe in, as long as we all respect each other and others beliefs.

Happy Diwali


Sharon J said...

@ Emma. Looking forward to the pics :)

@ Wombat. We sure are. Samhain's on Friday and I shall be celebrating in my own way (I'm not Wiccan but I do share some of their beliefs and values). Halloween however, as we know it today, is something I could happily do without. It's funny you mentioned it because I've actually already started a post about it that will be posted on the day ;)

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-have a wonderful time and so great to hear of you and your closest celebrating this lovely custom.

Sharon J said...

Hi Sharon Rose. We did have a nice time, thank you :)

Catz said...

Diwali is such a beautiful festival! thank you for explaining it to us

Anonymous said...

happy new year, sharon. may it be prosperous and joyful. :)

Chaotic Kerri said...

Thanks for the info on Diwali, never knew that. What a wonderful idea to celebrate other customs even if in some small way. Think I will investigate this more when I have the chance.

Ishrath said...

Have a happy Diwali... and let this festival of lights bring in a lot of joy and happiness to you. Lovely post.

Ishrath said...

Very well done and good pix. Look forward to more of your work.

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