Diwali, the Indian festival of lights has come and gone again and Christchurch paid its due by hosting a massive, culture-filled event.
Diwali happens to be the biggest Indian event in Christchurch consistently and this year was no exception. Located in the Horncastle Arena, it was an extravagant six hour long event that took place last Saturday. With lots of spicy Indian food, henna stalls, traditional shoes and sari stalls and a whole lot of Bollywood dance performances, the place was packed with Indians and lots of other nationalities who were all keen to learn about the festival and broaden their cultural knowledge.
For those of you who don’t know what the festival is, here’s just a quick summary and it is best to narrate it as a story!
Once upon a time, there was a Prince named Ram who was sent into exile with his wife for 10 long years as he fell prey to his stepmother’s politics. After a long ten years that was filled with lots of action and events, Lord Ram was finally returning back to the kingdom with his wife Sita, after defeating and killing the demon Raavan. To celebrate his homecoming, the locals of the kingdom lit fire torches to create a pathway for the two from the forest to the kingdom.
To this day, the homecoming is celebrated in the most extravagant way. Traditionally in India people burst firecrackers (the atom bomb being my favorite!), conduct religious rituals and of course eat a whole lot of Indian food with the entire family.
Personally, being away from home these are the things you miss the most and it was calming to see such a massive cultural impact in Christchurch and more importantly how people from other cultures embraced it and were curious to be a part of all the excitement.
Did you get to Diwali this year? If so, please leave me a comment with your thoughts.