Happy Diwali!

नमस्ते (Hello) readers!

We are so excited to bring back our long overdue taste of culture event series with Taste of India on November 5th!  And what serendipitous timing.

This past week was the annual “Festival of Lights” or Diwali celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs.

It is an official public holiday in many parts of India. This religious holiday celebrated in autumn spiritually honors the dualistic nature of life; that is the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. Various schools of Hindu philosophy center around the belief that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite and eternal (Atman). Diwali celebrates the awakening or transcendence into this ideal state, which is ultimate oneness and the Inner Light.

Beautiful “Festival of Lights” at the Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

Since Diwali is celebrated among three religions, the religious significance and practices vary. The festival, for Sikhs, marks the historical, political moment when the much revered Guru Har Gobind (16th Century) freed Hindu Kings from imprisonment under Islamic rule and arrived at the Gold Temple in Amritsar in Northwest India. To this day, Sikhs celebrate their version of the festival of light with fireworks and merriment at the Golden Temple. While, Jains on the other hand celebrate the attaining of Nirvana (liberation from cycle of death and rebirth) by Lord Mahavria, the reformer of Jainism and the last individual to have attained samsara (cycle of death and rebirth). For Hindus, depending on regional myths, legends and beliefs, pay homage to deities such as Lakshmi, Kali, Rama, Krishna and many others. In return, worshipers hope to receive abundant blessings for the year ahead as well as giving thanks.

The eve of Diwali night, people undergo an elaborate, meaningful ritual of cleaning, renovating and decorating their homes; preparing a puja (prayers to certain deities) and dressing in their finest. This is comparable to Christmas in that there is a commercial component. It is one of the biggest shopping seasons in India, as individuals  buy new clothes, gifts ranging from food to practical utensils for themselves and others.

Popular Diwali dish: saag aloo with roasted gobi curry. Keep your eye out for one of these at "Taste of"

Popular Diwali dish: saag aloo with roasted gobi curry. Keep your eye out for a variation of this at “Taste of India”!

The holiday provides an opportunity to start anew, thus marking the start of the new year, especially for businesses in some regions.

Diwali is one of many beautiful traditions, holidays in India. Learn more about other aspects of Indian culture with some awesome YPs Wednesday, November 5th! Reserve your ticket and join us at Diva’s Bistro for a “Taste of India”! and Happy Diwali!!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-india-registration-13612598649

About UNA-GB

Founded over sixty years ago, the United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNA-GB) is dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and work of the UN among the Greater Boston community. We serve as a resource on the broad agenda of critical global issues addressed by the United Nations and its agencies: peacekeeping, human rights, humanitarian relief, economic development, and education.

Posted on October 30, 2014, in Global Learning, Young Professionals, Young Professionals: "Taste of..." and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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