Did you know that the Hindus refer to ‘fireworks’ as ‘pataka’? The word ‘pataka‘ was derived from the sound the fireworks make when it goes off! I don’t know if it is entirely true but according the comedian Russell Peters, it is. Interestingly enough, the word Diwali (or ‘Deepavali’ as it is sometimes called) means ’row of lights‘ in an ancient language of India, called Sanskrit. This occasion commonly falls between October and November, and depends on the position of the moon. The festival of lights lasts for five days. This Celebration marks the start of the Hindu New Year.
At Erasito Consultants, our dear colleagues Shayal Chand, Raj Nandan, Manisha Nandan, Nazmeen Hussain, Shania Roy and Krishmal Dutt celebrated this luminous occasion to commemorate ‘the good triumphing over evil’. On November 13th, the Nadi and Suva Offices celebrated Diwali by having morning tea. The morning tea spread consisted of a wide variety of Indian goodies which included my favourite – ‘saina‘ and ‘barfi’. Believe me, these two goodies really go together. ‘Saina‘ is deep fried taro leaves and ‘barfi’ is made from milk powder extract mixed with other ingredients to give it that rich and sweet flavour. Everyone showed up in their best Diwali outfit looking very sharp while there were some of us (including myself) who will not forget and definitely try to do better next time.
Our Hindu brothers and sisters also invited those who do not celebrate Diwali over to their homes to share the joy of this occasion with sweets, food, fireworks and some grog. However, it’s not just about lights and legends – Diwali is a time to have fun with friends and family! People exchange gifts and sweets, enjoy delicious feasts, watch firework displays and wear new clothes. It’s a time to clean and decorate your home, too. As for myself, I headed west to spend Diwali with my Hindu high school buddies and talked about those mischievous days. Happy Diwali everyone!
Author: Garth Ratusau