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Celebrating Diwali is celebrating the light



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Diwali became my American holiday.

I grew up in a Bengali Hindu family. For us, celebrating Diwali is to worship the goddess Kali. The mother goddess, with dark skin and wild hair, and a skull necklace (actually the bad guy, the skull she was defeated), Kali is the figure of a woman you don̵

7;t want to mess with. Except for those who admire her, she is armed and fierce. (I know of several such women. I admire them too.)

There is a Kali painting in my bedroom. This painting was created by an unnamed female painter in the Madubeni region of East India, a friend of more than 20 years ago Give it to me.

I tell you this is because Diwali may be the only Indian festival you have ever heard of, and it means different things to different communities.

If your family is from northern India, then your Diwali story will turn the epic story of Ramayana one page. This marked the return of the royal protagonist Rama after defeating a shrewd opponent in the south. The people of his kingdom used oil lamps-diyas-to guide him home.

If your family is from the south, Diwali will pick another great epic “Mab Bharata” to tell the story of Krishna and completely defeat another greedy tyrant. It is called Divali in the Caribbean, Deepavali in Sri Lanka, and Tihar in Nepal.

In every place we celebrate, we light a lamp.

To me, Diwali is an Indian child raised by Indian Americans, and its essence is refined. Diwali is a celebration of light. It happened on the darkest night of the lunar cycle. It marks the victory of good over evil, justice over tyranny, and knowledge over ignorance. It reminds me that we can help each other through the darkest times.

Diwali is a particularly severe period in our country. Last Friday, the United States added more than 177,000 new coronavirus cases, a new record in a week. Despite the decisive defeat, the current president refused to give in to last week’s election.

On a Saturday afternoon on Saturday, my daughter and I will put on masks and ride a Maison Noir bus with snacks and a bottle of other people from Brooklyn to Brooklyn’s Friends Garden. Our landlord warned me not to bring the sweets traditionally tasted on Diwali because she has stocked them. My daughter presented her most peculiar salwar kameez. If I feel brave, I will wear a saree with a heat sink underneath because I am always cold.

The seven of us will sit outside, keeping a safe distance from each other. Our children will ignite diyas to eliminate disease and ignorance and thus restore justice.

On a dark night, our children will show us light.


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