The origins of Diwali vary depending on who you ask. The festival carries the same general meaning today as Christmas – a time to celebrate wealth, prosperity and the triumph of good over evil.
It’s actually a Hindu festival, but we Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas on the same day, which is the anniversary of when Guru Hargobind – one of the ten Sikh gurus who founded the religion – freed himself from Mughal oppressors and returned to Amritsar.
Diwali is meant to be this peaceful and beautiful celebration. Indian Diwali greetings cards will usually have a cute little Indian kid looking angelic and holding up a tea light.
In my experience, the reality of Diwali is very different…
EXPECTATION: Beautiful and enchanting light displays.
REALITY: This fire hazard in Coventry.
EXPECTATION: Cute Indian kids lighting pretty candles.
REALITY: Give the children explosives.
EXPECTATION: Glorious open-air fireworks displays.
REALITY: Just this.
EXPECTATION: An inclusive celebration that defies the boundaries of race and religion.
REALITY: Dad invites Terry 'Uncle' who sits in the corner all evening looking terrified.
EXPECTATION: An opulent banquet of rich and varied Indian dishes.
REALITY: Aunty’s yellow dhal (maybe roti if you’re lucky).
EXPECTATION: A soundtrack of beautifully bewitching sitar.
REALITY: Uncle Gurvinder gets pissed and bangs a drum.
There's just nothing like an Indian family do! Happy Diwali, everyone!
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