Hindus in Kenya are preparing to welcome the festival of light, Diwali, in colorful and bright note, but in a noiseless way. Owing to the ban on crackers in Kenya due to security reasons, Indians there have found an alternative to celebrate Diwali with the noiseless and colorful options of fireworks display.
“On the day of Diwali, all the rituals are followed together in the temple right from Chopra Pujan to Lakshmi Puja at night. We have melas in the town before Diwali to shop for Indian stuff. Stage show, musical shows and Hindu religious dramas are organized for the festival,” says Viral Patel, 26, who is born and brought up in Kenya.
Ila Patel, who shifted to Kenya after her marriage says, “Laxmi Puja is performed on the day of Diwali and friends are invited over meals, we light lamps outside our homes and in front of Goddess Lakshmi. Diwali gifts are exchanged between family and friends. The only thing that is missing is the noise of fire crackers as it is supposed to be quiet here.” tThe togetherness and vivacity that is innate to the festival of lights cannot be missed even in foreign grounds.
London celebrates with much aplomb too!
Diwali, celebrating victory of good over evil, creates a magical world of joy and festivity. The festival of lights, is celebrated by different Indian communities across London. “Diwali celebrations here take place in the heart of London at Trafalgar Square.
With festivities, food and performances, floating candles in the fountains, lights and saris draping the square, the square is transformed for this important Hindu festival,” said Vishal Shah, one of the group members who participate in organizing this event.
The Swaminarayan temple, Neasden in north-west London hosts Diwali and New Year celebrations in a grand manner in the country. “Diwali here is celebrated as beautifully as India. My friends and family gather to prepare special Indian dishes and sweets at my place.
The main celebration of the Laxmi puja and Chopra puja takes place in Neasden temple. So we visit the temple in the evening to follow the rituals of Diwali. The celebration in the temple is followed by magnificent fireworks in the evening. Thousands of Hindus visit this place for Diwali celebration,” says Deepika Nainani Thakkar.
In London, people celebrate Diwali by exchanging presents and sweets with friends and relatives. Hindus there also follow the ritual of cleaning and decorating home with rangoli and colourful lanterns outside their homes.