Be the Firework
Deepavali, more popularly known as Diwali, is an Indian festival that draws its roots from Hindu religious beliefs. Legend has it that Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya with his wife, Sita, after defeating the fiendish Ravana. His return also marked the completion of his fourteen years of exile from the kingdom. This is typically seen as the victory of good over evil, the triumph of light over forces of dark. The people of Ayodhya lit rows of small clay oil lamps (diyas) to celebrate the homecoming of Rama, Sita, and Rama’s beloved brother, Lakshmana.
In several parts of India people observe Deepavali with a deep religious fervour, starting with the auspicious day of Dhanteras (when families customarily buy gold or silver or some other precious metal), to concluding the holy rituals with the worship of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. However, in the twenty first century, Diwali, has also transcended its religious connotations and assumed a cultural role in the imagination of modern-day India. The festivities are marked by families and friends getting together, sharing meals, lighting up homes with candles, fairy-lights and diyas, and exchanging gifts and goodwill.
Today, Diwali is also synonymous in India with burning firecrackers in large numbers. While the night-sky shines brilliant in the afterglow of the fireworks, the government of India is faced with the challenge of battling critical levels of air-pollution for months after the merriment.
Climate change is real. We cannot choose to ignore it anymore. Should we not mend our ways right now it might be too late to save the planet we live in later. Therefore, it is our duty to ensure that Diwali is less about hazardous firecrackers and more about the spirit of giving and receiving, about dusting clean the darkness within us, about letting the candle in our hearts burn bright and warm, about lighting up the little spaces that we occupy. This Diwali, join us at India Restaurant with your friends and family to illuminate your lives and ours. Be the firework, own the sky!