Saturday, November 06, 2010

Festival of lights brightens another year

India celebrated Diwali this weekend. This festival of lights has become one of the biggest festivals in the country and is celebrated by all regardless of age, state or religion. The evening skies are lit up by fireworks as friends and families get together to celebrate in unison. Buildings are lit up around the city, sweets and gifts are exchanged and blessings of goddess Lakshmi (symbolizing wealth & prosperity) are invoked.

But as with everything in India, the festival is about building connections and strengthening relationships. Diwali brings families and friends together in a joyous celebration. The association in our building had organized a two-day celebration. The first day was celebrated by the residents by bursting firecrackers together. Nearly one hundred residents, old and young, got into the spirit of the festival by lighting up sparklers, rockets, ground wheels and ear-deafening bombs. Day two was another fun-filled evening that started with a cultural program organized and presented by the residents. Only in India can you find an hour-long program where you get to see a table recital, kathakali dance performance, a bollywood dance number and a rendition of Shakira's FIFA theme performance, Waka Waka! The program was followed by dinner and dancing. This gave Mona and me an opportunity to go ethnic!

India had a special guest this Diwali. US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are in the country and celebrated Diwali with children at the Holy Mary school in Mumbai.

With the country registering a 9% growth, there is plenty of other reasons to celebrate and celebrate we did!

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