Diwali Celebrations in Guyana

10/22/2008 10:58:00 AM

The festival of lights has been celebrated in Guyana since 1853 and supposedly by indentured people from India. The place was more popularly known as British Guiana and the festival of lights is celebrated as per the Hindu Solar calendar. Hindus of Indian origin constitute about 33% of the total population.

The traditions include cleaning the house and preparing Diwali sweets like mithai, pera, barfi, and kheer. Buying new apparel is also a custom and Indian clothing is available on several online marts. After bath new clothes are worn and people of Guyana believe that this is a symbol of healthy soul in a healthy body. Besides apparel people spruce up for Diwali by refurbishing their home and buying new home decoration items.

Laxmi Puja is ceremoniously performed and Prasad is distributed. At dusk the surroundings are illuminated with rows of light to welcome Goddess Laxmi into their homes. Usually friends are invited and the specially prepared Diwali sweets are distributed. Exchanging Diwali greetings is a well thought out custom which denotes the goodwill of one another.

For Indians living away from their homeland it becomes all the more important to send Diwali gifts to India for their kith and kin. Diwali gains prominence despite the influx of varied cultures. The true spirit of the festival is seldom lost and is undeniably the most popular Indian festival.

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Ever wondered if Diwali was celebrated with as much zeal as it is here in India? We are aware of the fact that Diwali is celebrated with enthusiasm in the US, Canada and a few other Asian countries. The former British colonies are not to be left behind. Colonies of Kenya and Tanzania have about 1000 Indians residing there. This constitutes about 1% of the total population.

This 1% of the population lives in close knit communities and cannot be left behind in the ethnic festivities. Diwali is one such festival which is celebrated with much gusto in Kenya and Tanzania. The traditions are similar to that seen in India with lighting of lamps, preparing Diwali sweets and exchanging Diwali gifts.

The customs and belief related to the festival are also the same. Laxmi puja is performed and friends are invited over for a meal. Diwali gifts are exchanged between family and friends. With the boom in online marts it is now possible to send Diwali gifts to India. For people living outside India buying authentic Diwali mithai and other Diwali decoration items has never been easier with the online marts.

Irrespective of the distances and cultural barriers surrounding you, the true essence of Diwali is kept alive by Indians living abroad. The togetherness and vivacity that is innate to the festival of lights cannot be missed even in foreign grounds.

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Diwali Celebrations in Australia

10/21/2008 05:32:00 PM

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the southern hemisphere. It comprises of the mainland of the world's smallest continent, the major island of Tasmania and numerous other islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Since the last many centuries, many Indians have either visited India as students or settled there permanently as citizens. A majority of the Indian population in the island country are Hindus. And hence the Diwali festival is an important religious and cultural event in the annual calendar of Sydney's, festivals and fairs. Sydney is the most important and populous city in Australia.

Every year, the Hindu Council of Australia organizes a 'Diwali Mela', which is participated by thousands of Indians living in Australia. Apart from Indians, Diwali is also celebrated by the migrants from Bali, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Kenya and South Africa in Australia.

The day is marked by gaily dressed Hindus offering pujas to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi, the god and goddesses of prosperity and wealth respectively. A huge stage is prepared for the purpose which is decorated with flowers and rangoli. This is followed by engrossing classical and modern Indian dances. People come to the venue dressed in traditional apparels and have a great time making new friends and mingling with the old. Infact, this is the perfect place for social networking for nostalgic expatriates.

Towards evening, people enjoy a spectacular show of fireworks and firecrackers that make it one of the most memorable moments of their lives.

The fair also have stalls which showcase Indian apparels, crockery products, Diwali gifts, traditional Diwali sweets and other savories.

Many use the fair and auspicious time in the Hindu calendar to launch their new products and companies. The festival usually concludes with an effigy of Ravana going up in flames. For many children born in Australia, it was an introduction to the demon God and the triumph of good over evil.

Like in India, lightening of lamps and diyas at individual homes and commercial establishments on Diwali is a common practice in Australia.

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Celebrating Diwali in Mauritius

10/21/2008 04:59:00 PM

Mauritius, officially the Republic of Mauritius, is a beautiful island nation off the coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometers east of Madagascar.

Mauritian society includes people from many different ethnic groups. A majority of the republic's residents are the descendants of people from the Indian subcontinent. Mauritius also contains about 63% of the total population from India. And of these 80% are Hindus. Needless to say, the Diwali festival is celebrated with great fanfare in this Island since many years.

The festival of lights in this Island is marked with lighting of traditional diyas/lamps in the individual households and commercial establishments. Rows of twinkling candles, lamps and colorful electric bulbs of all sorts transform the island into another realm of fairytales.

The festival here represents the triumph of good over evil in Lord Rama's victory over Ravana and Lord Krishna's destruction of the demon Narakasura. People here celebrate Diwali for a new beginning and exorcising the darkness of evil from their lives as well as the society. And lighting lamps and feasting is symbolic of this phenomenon.

The Diwali day in Mauritius is especially significant for the Hindu business community, as it is considered the account closing day of the year. These people on this day close their accounts and balances for the previous year, and go unburdened into the next. In the morning, people pray to their revered gods and goddesses. The female members of the household perform aarti with pooja thalis in hand and all the family members seek the blessings of the almighty for a healthy and prosperous year. They then visit their relatives and fellow Indians and share greetings and Diwali gifts.

The custom of distributing Diwali sweets to friends, and neighbors of all faith has made Diwali a popular festival in Mauritius. Those missing close ones back home during the festive occasion send Diwali Gifts to India to show their love and affection for them.

Celebrating Diwali in Mauritius truly represents its unique the multicultural spirit that has made the place heaven on earth.

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Diwali Celebrations in Guyana

10/20/2008 12:56:00 PM

Guyana, officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana is the only nation state of the Commonwealth of Nations on the mainland of South America. Interestingly the country's aborigines consist of Indians and today Hindus of Indian origin accounts for 33% of the total population.

Hence almost all the Indian festivals are celebrated with great fanfare and gusto in the country. But of all the festivals, Diwali is the most popular and infact the day has been declared as a national holiday in the official calendar of Guyana.

Like in India, the Diwali festival in Guyana is celebrated as the festival of lights, which represents victory of good over evil. Even a few days before Diwali, Indians in Guyana clean their houses and go for shopping trips for the great day.

The Diwali day is spent with visiting relatives and friends and exchanging Diwali gifts and Diwali sweets. The distribution and sharing of Diwali Mithais has special significance for the people of Guyana as this denotes the spirit of social bonding in society. Among the most popular homemade and readymade sweets distributed during Diwali in Guyana are pedas, barfis, and kheer. Diwali greetings also are exchanged specially among kids and professional acquaintances.

Indians in Guyana believe that Diwali also brings in new beginning with new hopes, and aspirations for the rest of the year. Hence, to celebrate the festival, they wear brand new colorful apparels and also buy home decor items for adorning their house. The tradition of wearing new clothes for the people of Guyana has significance as they believe that it is the symbol of healthy souls in healthy bodies.

Diwali is dedicated to Lakshmi- the goddess of wealth in the country. And hence people make colorful rangolis and light traditional diyas to welcome the deity to their individual houses and other establishments. It is to be mentioned here that the Diwali night is the darkest night of the year and hence traditional and modern lights illuminate to welcome the revered deity.

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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain, is one of the most developed countries of the world. And every year it attracts a large number of Indians to its soil, looking for greener pastures. In-fact, Indians are the second largest ethnic minority in Britain.

Inspite of being miles away from their homeland, nostalgic Indians living here celebrate almost all the festivals along with their countrymen. And among all the celebrations, the Diwali is the much awaited festival of the year. Diwali is the time, when Indians in Britain go for spring cleaning their homes, and decorating them with home decorative and new home furnishings.

Prior to a few days before the onset of Diwali, people go on a shopping spree and buy Diwali gifts, clothes, fireworks and firecrackers for the Diwali day.

Like the rest of their fellow compatriots in their homeland, Indians in Britain worship Lakshmi- the goddess of wealth on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. It is believed that worshipping the goddess on Diwali brings in wealth and prosperity throughout the year. The whole day of Diwali in Britain is spent in fun and revelry with people visiting their relatives and friends and exchanging Diwali sweets and other pleasantries. The Diwali evening is marked by flickering lights of traditional diyas and candles. All the Indian apartments are aglow on the Diwali night with thousands of colorful electric lights hanging from the top to the bottom presenting a dazzling show.

Though the Diwali festival comes off on a time when Britain experience it coldest, and most chilly months, yet the Indian overcome all the hurdles to celebrate their favorite Diwali festival. So popular has the festival of lights become even with non-Indians that the British city of Leicester has become one of the places for the largest Diwali celebrations outside India.

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Diwali-the festival of lights is celebrated with much gusto in India and by Indians spread across the world. One of the strong and vibrant immigrant communities in the United States are the Indians, so much so that conventions and other get-togethers are often organized by Indians living there. And the most widely celebrated Indian festival - Diwali cannot be left behind.

The celebrations may vary depending on the state and the Indian population living there. There are ceremonies organized in community halls for people to get together and enjoy the festivities. In the year 2007, the US House of Representatives had passed a resolution recognizing the spiritual, religious and historical importance of Diwali. This came like a welcome change for Indians living in the US for years, craving for Diwali Sweets, and Diwali fireworks.

As in India, in the US, Diwali is celebrated in honor of Lord Rama, the king who returned after 14 years of exile. Akin to celebrations in India houses are decorated with earthen lamps and these rows of light look spectacular in the dark. Temples in the US are also decorated with lights and colorful rangoli. In the evenings, people gather at a community hall where cultural programs are held. Fire crackers are burst and various competitions held. The competitions include ethnic dance, rangoli and other cultural events. Diwali sweets and snacks are distributed among family and friends.

If you wish to send Diwali sweets to USA you may do so by using online marts. Diwali gifts may also be exchanged with friends and family living overseas, with the help of online marts which offer a wide range of product bouquet. If you are considering making family and close friends in the U.S feel special, then send Diwali Gifts to USA like Salwar Kameez, Sarees, Jewellery, Watches, Handicrafts through online marts. People living outside the U.S may also send Diwali gifts to U.S by browsing through the product category displayed on the online mart. The products are truly ethnic and Diwali Sweets and Puja thali are so authentic that you would want to procure one for yourself.

Whether the festival of lights is celebrated in its native land or in a distant country like the United States, the true essence of Diwali is in the unity of people observing this festival. For NRI's living in the United States, Diwali is a time of joyous celebration with a truly ethnic flavor.

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The beautiful island of Indonesia is mainly populated by Muslims. About 2% of the population comprises Hindus who celebrate Diwali zealously.

The festival of lights-Diwali is a day of great jubilation in Indonesia especially in the Bali Island which is mainly populated by Hindus. Similar to the traditions followed in India, people spruce up for Diwali by cleaning homes and buying new clothes. On Diwali day rows of lamps are lit and placed outside the house to welcome the Goddess of wealth. Families gather at one particular house and invoke God's blessings.

After Puja, Diwali sweets are prepared. In most festivals it is customary to exchange gifts. Diwali gifts are exchanged between family and friends. Friends and family living in India send Diwali gifts to India from Indonesia as a thoughtful gesture. With the boom in e-commerce now it is common practice to send Diwali Sweets to India from Indonesia, so family and friends can relish them without having to compromise on authentic flavor and the very Indian touch.

So if you wish to send your wishes to friends or family living in Indonesia make sure to avail the e-shopping facility. Not only is it convenient but has a wide array of product bouquet on display from which you may choose the gift of your choice. This Diwali indulge and let your people living abroad know that you truly care and miss them on the festive occasion by sending appropriate Diwali gifts and Diwali Mithais.

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