Tuesday 13th November 2012 is Diwali. Diwali is also known as the festival of lights and is probably the most important celebration in the Hindu calendar.
It would be the equivalent of Christmas in terms of the scale of celebrations… which is done with much eating and fireworks. Here’s a photo of the morning tea our team enjoyed today.
What is the reason for celebrating Diwali?
Diwali is celebrated for two main reasons:
- The return of Lord Rama after 14 years of banishment. His adventures and triumphs over evil during his banishment are told in the epic Ramayana. Upon his return diyas (small clay oil lamps) were lit all over the kingdom to welcome him back. To this day people light up their houses on Diwali night.
- It is also considered the Indian New Year.
So how do we celebrate Diwali here in Fiji?
While the origins of Diwali are obviously in India, Diwali is now celebrated all over the world.
Our company is in Fiji.
My great grand-parents had come from India more than a hundred years ago when many Indians were brought to Fiji to work in the sugar-cane industry.
Today Fiji is a fantastic multi-cultural place to live. Diwali day is a public holiday and celebrated and shared with everyone irrespective of their religion or race.
Our homes and office are thoroughly cleaned before Diwali. Many people also take this opportunity to do renovations.
New garments are purchased as it is considered auspicious to where something new on Diwali.
Our homes are also lit with lights of different colors. In Suva (the city where I live) there is even an award for the best decorated house which a golfing buddy has won many times.
On Diwali day, Diyas (small clay lamps) are lit around the house. Prayers are held at 6 PM but this is normally private to the family. Guests are welcomed into the house from 6.30 (or 7) on wards. Many varieties of sweets and vegetarian dishes are made and shared with friends and family.
Children (and many adults) play with fireworks that light up the skies.
It is a greatest way to start the year.
So as we end this year, I thank you all again for your support… for reading our blog… for using our Outlook addins… for all your input and ideas that have helped us to become a better company.
We wish you all a happy Diwali and look forward to serving you even better in the New Year.
From Sanjay and the rest of your Outlook team at Standss