We all have those year when we are away from home for almost all the special days. Be it birthday or Diwali, we all are in high (and low) spirits on these days. Fond memories of how it used to be celebrated back at home can definitely stir up some deep emotions.
This is my third Diwali in Germany and obviously away from home. Maybe this is your first one alone or maybe you are so used to celebrating away from home, some things will always remain unchanged.
For all the non-Indian readers, a little description of what is Diwali and why are all Hindu Indians so delighted on this day –
Diwali (like every other festival in world) has a lot of (mythological) history behind it and as far as I understand, everyone needs a short version today. It is celebrated to signify the triumph of good over evil. Welcomed with rows of lamps and decoration, it is believed that this day brings a lot of prosperity into the home and therefore celebrated in full spirits by all members of the family. It begins with cleaning the home, buying new things for home and members of home, making delicious sweets and savories, decorating homes with lamps and various kinds of decor, gifting one another, bursting fireworks (although it is significantly dropping past few years) and no special day is complete without pooja in evening (prayers and offering to God). A perfect way to begin a new year (according to the Hindu calendar).
So basically, you get the point right? It’s shares it attributes with Christmas!
Having said that, all of us living away from home for studies or work have this feeling in common. Missing family.
On my first Diwali, I was fortunate to celebrate it with my new friends here in Germany with pooja and awesome variety of food. It was beautiful indeed.
On my second Diwali, I was all alone in Stuttgart. Went to office as usual, no one even wished (for obvious reasons – not everyone in Germany is aware about it unlike in US or UK or other countries). I reached back home, cleaned my little room, lit candles and did pooja (with my parents on Skype call). After that, I made some food and ate in solitude. It wasn’t the best Diwali of my life, but come on, it’s alright. I felt blessed that I had a place to live, good food to eat and people (family and some very special friends) in my life who loved me unconditionally. I feel, we should all be grateful if we have these in life.
This is my third Diwali and I have no idea how this one will be. But it started well just because I could wish two people (my 2 good friends) in person (not virtual wishing) this morning (Funny how things change in 3 years).
It’s all about finding happiness in little things in life and this is how I found mine – wearing new clothes, making some simple sweet dish at home and praying after going back from work (with my parents and brother on Skype), calling up all my friends to wish them and making best of the available.
Being in another country, away from home can be tough and especially on such days but always remember, we are not alone. There are so many out here with us who go through and feel the same. So be strong, keep smiling and celebrate Diwali (or any special day, that is every single day) in the best possible way 🙂
Wishing a joyous and beautiful festival of lights to you and your family. Happy Diwali!