EMBRACING THE RADIANCE: DIWALI’S ILLUMINATION OF INCLUSIVITY AND LIBERAL VALUESby Editorial Desk November 12 2023, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 57 secs
In the kaleidoscope of cultural celebrations, Diwali stands out as a beacon of light, unity, and diversity, reports The Daily Eye #Newsdesk
This ancient Hindu festival, also celebrated by Jain, Muslim, Buddhist, Parsi, Irani and Sikh communities, transcends religious boundaries, inviting people of all backgrounds to join in the jubilation. Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and the illumination of knowledge over ignorance. In its essence, Diwali epitomizes values that resonate universally – values that are both powerful and inclusive.
Unity in Diversity:
At its core, Diwali is a celebration of unity in diversity. As families and communities come together to light oil lamps, decorate homes, and exchange sweets, the festival fosters a sense of togetherness that transcends religious, cultural, and socio-economic boundaries. The vibrant array of colours, the rich tapestry of customs, and the diverse narratives associated with Diwali underscore the beauty of coexistence.
Diwali embodies the spirit of inclusivity, embracing people of all walks of life. The festival encourages individuals to open their hearts and homes to friends and neighbours, breaking down barriers that may exist. The act of sharing sweets and gifts during Diwali symbolizes the spirit of generosity and the importance of fostering connections with those around us. In a world often divided by differences, Diwali stands as a reminder that, at our core, we are all connected.
The festival of Diwali also reflects liberal values that are relevant to a progressive and inclusive society. The emphasis on knowledge triumphing over ignorance encourages intellectual growth and the pursuit of wisdom. The freedom to choose one's path to enlightenment, whether through religious or secular means, is a central theme of Diwali. This openness to diverse perspectives aligns with liberal values that champion individual freedoms and the celebration of diverse identities.
In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the environmental impact of festivals. Diwali, too, has evolved to reflect a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach. Communities are increasingly opting for eco-friendly decorations, reducing noise pollution, and choosing renewable energy sources for lighting. This shift demonstrates a commitment to liberal values that prioritize environmental sustainability and responsibility.
While the origins of Diwali are rooted in Hinduism, Diwali has become a cultural and secular celebration embraced by people of various religions and communities. The way Diwali is celebrated can vary across regions and communities. In each place, the essence of Diwali remains the same - it is a time of joy, light, and the triumph of good over evil. Here's a glimpse of how Diwali is celebrated in different parts of the world:
In India, Diwali is a major festival celebrated with great enthusiasm. Homes are decorated with oil lamps, candles, and colourful rangoli designs. People clean and decorate their houses, exchange gifts, and prepare special festive meals. Fireworks are a significant part of the celebration, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness.
Diwali is celebrated in a manner similar to India, with lights, candles, and traditional decorations. Laxmi Puja, dedicated to the goddess of wealth, is an important ritual during Diwali in Nepal.
Diwali is celebrated by the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, where it is known as Deepavali. Homes are decorated, and lamps are lit. Special prayers and rituals are performed in temples.
Malaysia and Singapore:
Diwali is celebrated by the Indian communities in Malaysia and Singapore. The festival is marked by the lighting of lamps, cultural performances, and the exchange of sweets and gifts.
The Hindu communities in Indonesia celebrate Diwali, especially on the island of Bali. Temples are decorated, and prayers are offered to Hindu deities.
United States and Canada:
Diwali is celebrated by the Indian diaspora in these countries. Communities come together for cultural events, fireworks, and feasts. Many public events and festivals are organized to share the spirit of Diwali with the broader community.
Diwali is celebrated by the Indian and South Asian communities in the UK. Festivities include lighting lamps, cultural programs, and community events. The city of Leicester is known for hosting one of the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India.
Diwali is celebrated by the Indian community in Australia. Cultural events, performances, and community gatherings are organized to mark the festival.
In the glow of Diwali's lights, we find a powerful reminder of the values that bind us together as a global community. The festival's celebration of diversity, inclusivity, and liberal ideals serves as an inspiration for a world that strives for unity amid differences. As we revel in the brilliance of Diwali, let us carry forward the light of these values into our daily lives, fostering a more tolerant, compassionate, and enlightened society for generations to come.