I’ll start by introducing Diwali (also called Deepawali) to my non-Indian readers. It’s and ancient Hindu festival, and is one of the brightest and biggest festival for Indians. I’ll not make it boring by going into why we celebrate it, let’s say it’s our version of christmas that we celebrate on a larger scale (well it’s a 5 day long festival). Before Diwali, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes. The celebrations will include a plenty of lights on housetops, candles, diyas and therefore it’s also called festival of lights, signifying the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, positivity over negativity. It becomes exciting for children as we celebrate it by burning a lot of firecrackers. And it’s a treat for foodies because we make a lot, a lot of sweets on this occasion.
This year, it was for the first time since I was born that I was away from my home on Diwali. Though it was quite nostalgic and sad in the morning, being away from our families, but then we decided to celebrate it our way. My friends from my photography group were longing to eat Indian cuisine for a long time. So we decided to invite them for dinner.
When we went out shopping, the first thing I was looking for was lights to create a Diwali like ambience at our apartment and as a good luck for us, the christmas lights are already in market.
We started cooking around 3 hours before our friends were set to arrive. The variety of dishes kept increasing as we kept getting requests like “Less spices for me, after all we’re Swedes“, “More spices for me, we’re Italians“, “Mild spices for me, I like ’em“. Along with my friends Abu and Aditya, I ended up putting a variety of Indian dishes on the table.
As a pleasant surprise, our friends knew it was Diwali, and it’s significance and they brought us some beautiful candles.(I had just told them it’s some Indian festival)
Later we were joined by few more friends, so we ended up celebrating Diwali quite well, and eco friendly for the first time.
I wish everyone a very Happy Diwali. Have a great year ahead.