For quite some time now I have been playing with the idea of how I can bring some of my Indian heritage into our lives. Growing up the culture was present mainly through food but it was also just there, through my mother and her ways. In our lives Indian and Malaysian food is love and adored but I have felt that it would be nice to do more. A few weeks ago I looked up Diwali, a Hindu Festival of Light and decided that as it was upcoming November 3rd, it would be lovely to start the tradition of celebrating Diwali. I called my mum who was delighted by the idea, she gave me a whole lot of ideas and decided to plan their next trip in time for Diwali.
Diwali involves the lighting of lights to signify good over evil and to clear the home in order to make the goddess Lakshmi feel welcome. Firecrackers are also burst to drive away evil spirits (we used incense and ensured that all the kids made lots of noise throughout the celebration). During Diwali all the celebrants wear new clothes and share food and sweets with family members and friends, sounds totally perfect. Who doesn't need a good cleanse from those evil spirits every now and then.
I invited some dear, dear friends, who fortuitously also both love and cook great curries. With the help of mum's trusty stash of Indian decorations, a plentitude of food (oh the food, the food, we were stuffed), new clothes (mum made Poe, Ilo, Lara and Ivy new clothes), borrowed Saris, Indian music, lots of dancing and an excessive amount of lights. Mum also mentioned that often a mandala is drawn at the door of the home, so we drew and then filled a beautiful mandala drawn by my dad with dyed rice. It was stunning.
It was such a special celebration and especially wonderful spending it with all these beautiful friends and my amazing parents who were so enthusiastic and delighted to be part of it all. Hopefully this is the first of many Diwalis we will spend together.