Indian expats usher in festival of lights today

A festival celebrating the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, Diwali is a joyous occasion for families and friends to get together at thoroughly cleaned and decked-up homes.  

 

Tens of thousands of Indians in the UAE are celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights, today. With various types of illuminations decorating homes in many streets, especially where Indian expatriates reside in large numbers, Dubai, the City of Gold has been witnessing an added sheen at nights for the past few days.diwa2210

Jewellery stores in Dubai witnessed a huge rush on Tuesday, the day of Dhanteras, considered to be an auspicious occasion to buy and gift gold ornaments.

A festival celebrating the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, Diwali is a joyous occasion for families and friends to get together at thoroughly cleaned and decked-up homes. Delicious Diwali-special sweets,diyas and sparklers add to the festivities.

Vivek Mehta, a businessman who lives in Green Community, said Diwali, primarily a Hindu festival, has become a global festival in Dubai. “In our community, people from various countries come over to celebrate Diwali with us. It is heart-warming to see children of some 15-20 nationalities lighting up sparklers and celebrating in our garden.”

Mehta gives credit to this camaraderie to the leadership of the country and thanked them for their inclusive vision.

Diwali is also an occasion when the Mehtas’ home sees the highest number of visitors.

“We have this custom of large groups of friends and families visiting each other on the five days of Diwali. It’s sort of an open house when some 200-300 people would visit you, exchange greetings, have sweets, finger foods and drinks and move on to the next home. We go to some five or six people’s homes on a day.” Many friends, who miss their parents back home, also make it a point to visit Mehta’s parents and seek their blessings.

His 80-year-old father, Om Parkash Mehta, who has been in Dubai for over three decades, also gives gifts to the security guards and other workers in the community. For South Indians, the festival is known as Deepavali, which is celebrated in a big way by people speaking Telugu, Kannada and Tamil.

For Srivani Nerella, an architect from Hyderabad, whose family moved to Dubai last year, Diwali celebration is incomplete without her parents and in-laws and the noise of the firecrackers back home. “Though we are missing all that, we are following all other rituals. I did the aarati for my boys before sunrise this morning and I’m making rangoli and penni sweet tomorrow. We are also going to a friend’s place for a get together where we will burn some sparklers,” she said. –

 

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