I am fortunate to have been introduced to the Indian culture over 20 years ago. Indians are very dominant in the IT Systems field. This is where I spent most of my career. They are exceptionally brilliant people. We worked well together on many projects in some of the world’s largest corporations. I still keep in touch with several Indian friends that I’ve worked with within the United States, and abroad.
But what attracts me most to Indian culture is greater than their intelligence. It is their peacefulness and inner light that draws me to them. Their vibration is immensely powerful especially to those like me who have meditated for over 20 years, and who is curious and open to all cultures and faiths.
I have attended Indian weddings, baby rituals, and have been invited to dinner in the homes of Indian families, which was all a great honor. Every event and venue were full of love and joy and was quite colorful. I love colors. I see them as a reflection of God’s light in a myriad of God-created hues. Light is energy; therefore, colors have a power that can influence our spirit. The Indian culture knows this well, as I do.
Today Indians around the world celebrate the festival known as Diwali, the festival of lights. It is a festival that is based on an Indian god who defeated evil. Diwali is a celebration of good over evil. If there were ever an appropriate time to celebrate good over evil, now is that time considering the state of world affairs, politically, economically, and socially. We should all celebrate Diwali today and every day.
As a Black man, who was raised as a Catholic, you would think that I am far-removed from Hindu celebrations. This is not true. Diwali is a celebration that strongly resonates with me.
More than celebrating good over evil, Diwali is an expression of happiness, gratitude, and reflection. It beckons us all to vibrate higher, even in the midst of evil and negativity. It calls on us to reflect on love and sharing that love with others. Furthermore, Diwali is about giving, giving to our loved ones, and bringing the community together, connected by this golden thread of Love.
Even without considering Diwali, my life-spirit strives every day to celebrate these things regardless of circumstances. The Indian culture has an age-old tradition of celebrating the best of our spirits in a most magnificent way.
Diwali is meticulously scheduled to occur on the first moonless night, in October or November. This timing is significant for it is at a time when winter is approaching and we can tend to stray off into depression, sadness, illness, and even suicide. The lights, colors, sound, and joy serve to distract and awaken us from falling into negativity, despair, and darkness.
Come on now people, shouldn’t we all embrace Diwali, as I do? There could be no better time to steer ourselves into the state of Love, Joy, Reflection, Gratitude, and Hope than right now.
If you encounter an Indian person today, or for the next five days, be sure to wish them a Happy Diwali.
I am fortunate to have established a very enlightening friendship with a young man who works at the local convenience store. We engage in intriguing conversations almost daily about Indian culture, African American culture, as well as in world events. I learn so much from him. I appreciate him. We can all learn a lot from each other if we are receptive to other cultures, religions, and those who may not look or celebrate exactly as we do. …And, if we are not distracted or consumed by darkness. Diwali dynamically pulls us out of darkness into the light.
This morning was especially inspiring for us both. When I arrived at the store to get my morning coffee, he was working. I wished him a Happy Diwali. He was so appreciative! At the moment he was speaking to his mother in India on WhatsApp. He explained Diwali even further to me, as his mother listened. Together we shared in the joy that we created ourselves at that very moment. We ended our conversation in happiness. Diwali brought us together on one accord of Love.
This is what Diwali is all about. Please celebrate Diwali today. If you encounter a person of Indian descent today, wish them a Happy Diwali. You will ignite their spirit by doing so, as well as your own. You, along with them will experience the momentary joy that will carry you through the day, and perhaps the year until Diwali is here again.
This post shares the history of Diwali, as well as the beautiful tradition of one of India’s largest festivals, a festival of light, physical light, but also spiritual inner light. I am hopeful that you will enjoy the colors and spirit of Diwali through the content I am providing. Kevy
Photo – Partho Roy – Unsplash
INDIAN CUSTOMS, ETIQUETTE AND MANNERS
Indians are very hospitable. Deepak Mehta posted on Quora.com: “We treat our guests with utmost respect and hospitality: Atithi Devo Bhavah ( English: ‘The guest is God’ or ‘Guest become God’) is a motto that almost all Indians follow with utmost dedication and compassion. Even the poorest of the poor treat their guests to all kinds of luxuries.” [Source: Deepak Mehta, Quora.com, March 28, 2013]
Greetings in India
Hindus fold their hands in the namaste greeting and touch their forehead as a sign of respect. To perform a proper namaste, one should hold his or her palms together, with the fingertips at the chin, level, and nod rather than bow and say ” Namaste.” ” Namaste” literally means “I bow to thee” or “I honor the godhead within.” The gesture is a sign of respect and is used by men and women when meeting members of the same or opposite sex. It is similar to a praying gesture performed before an image of a deity at a temple. [Source: The Traveler’s Guide to European Customs & Manners by Elizabeth Devine and Nancy L. Braganti. International etiquette expert: Mary Kay Metcalf of Creative Marketing Alliance in New Jersey.
Gestures in India
Indians are a very expressive lot. They use a lot of hand gestures. Clasped hands are an expression of submission. Touching the ears is considered an indication of sincerity or repentance.
Eating at an Indian Home
When Indians invite guests to a meal, they usually invite them to their home rather than go out to a restaurant. It is considered an insult to the guests and the wife to go out. Guests often arrive at around 8:00 but don’t begin eating until after 10:00pm. In some places, particularly in the south, guests are invited for lunch because that is the main meal of the day. If someone invites you to a meal or to their house it is considered rude to turn them down. Read More
At any time of year, a visitor to India can be overwhelmed by its beauty and color. But a visitor in late fall is especially fortunate. The temperature will go down. The monsoons will have not yet begun. And Diwali, the festival of Lights, is at hand. Diwali is to many Indians what Christmas is to Christians. In essence, it commemorates the victory of the forces of light over the forces of darkness. To experience it fully, get up before dawn and head for the flower markets here. Flower vendors work feverishly to create garlands of fragrant jasmine that Indians will use to adorn their homes. By dawn, they’ll be sold out.
Next head for one of the temples but go early. Later on, in the day, they’ll be packed on your way over. You may see a curious sight, people hunched in front of their doorways, pouring colored sand on the ground. The sand takes the shape of a lotus blossom, a symbol of welcome. And today, millions of symbols of welcome will grace the nation’s doorways.
Indeed, Diwali is all about sharing if you’re staying in a private home, don’t be surprised if the neighbors show up with plates of delicious holiday treats.
It’s also customary for families to go to the temples together. On this day, they often dress and buy new outfits purchased, especially for Diwali. And if their outfits inspire you, go for a sari shop. Shops are open on Diwali and Indian silks are justifiably famous for their beauty. They’re just one of the ways India spruces up and gets into the holiday spirit.
So, this is an occasion for all of us to rejoice and be with the family and enjoy all the good things in life. So, we buy good clothes and make good food. And everywhere there are lights. You’ll find colorful displays comparable to Christmas lights in Western cities. Some cities also put on spectacular public displays of fireworks like the one in Delhi. But no matter where you are, there are smaller, more intimate fireworks displays, a long day of celebrations is coming to an end and it’s going out with a bang.
The Diwali festival is scheduled according to lunar cycles. There is science behind this. On this day everybody worships on Deepavali Day. This day is dedicated to one’s health and well-being. In a way, there is a slowdown of life. So for the winter months, how what you should do with yourself, what time you should wake up, what you should eat, how your food habits should change, how your practices should change for all this period. Traditionally, they created science as to how one should behave to pass through winter months without getting sick, without getting depressed, without losing your sense of balance and purpose in life.
How to do this?
For this, there was an entire science lighting of lamps, and bursting of crackers was one of those things so that you don’t slip into a slowdown. Genetically there is a dimension as well. The distance between the planet and the way the planet and the sun are positioned has changed because of that slowdown of life happens. If you were a bear, you would be hibernating. So, there is a tendency for the body to hibernate. If you do not notice, the seed doesn’t sprout during this period. Nobody plants a seed from this season to the 14th of January in India because the seed will not sprout fully or will not sprout the same speed as it would in other seasons.
Everything life slows down in the Northern Hemisphere because life is slowing down. We are preparing to do more energetic things around us so that we don’t really slow down and become a part of that. In a way, we are trying to assert our revolution.
Yes, if it were some other creature, we would go and curl up somewhere. But now we become human. We have transcended our biology. You are supposed to have transcended your biological tendencies. So, to transcend this, there’s a whole lot of activity created so that you don’t go into a hibernating kind of state physically slow down mentally. A little bit of depression could easily happen in everybody because the season is like that in colder countries.
Definitely, people experience this. Oh, certainly. It seems the maximum number of suicides in Minnesota happened in the winter months. And this is so in the Nordic countries also, because things have slowed down within you in the northern hemisphere, not just you, everything has slowed down because our relationship with the sun has changed, which is the basic source of life. The basic source of energy on this planet is the sun.
You’re looking away from the sun. There is a slowdown from this month, the 13th, the day of this lunar month, which is called the Kartika period, the sheep. So, to make up for this in India, there are various things done from this month onwards.
The entire today will become exceptionally large cities. Otherwise, if you lived in a village, everybody who lives there needs this bit of drum and music to reverberate in their system so that they don’t hibernate, so that their systems don’t slow down. All music festivals happen at this time. If you do not notice the greatest music festival in the world, the largest in the world, happens in Chennai, with over 800 concerts in 45 days. Most of the world does not know such a grand scale of music is happening at this time. All this is done so that people don’t become stagnant.
The first ray of sun must hit you. This is a commitment that is why before sunrise, everybody is out to receive the first rays of sun upon themselves, not upon the ground. So, the significance of the festival has largely been ignored, but still, people are singing a bit and bursting crackers a bit, it is time to bring this back, especially in colder weather. This would be wonderful if some of these things are revived because Diwali is not a religious festival. It’s got something to do with our geographical location on this planet because we’re in the northern hemisphere. These changes are happening to us, to our bodies, to the plans, to the animals.
Everything’s happening, you’ll see everything slows down. But if you slow down within yourself, mentally, if you slow down, you will become susceptible to various other ailments that you may not be susceptible if your body is vibrant and alive. If this body is vibrant and alive, there are a thousand infections within you right now, but you don’t get sick because bodies alive and vibrant. If a little slowdown happens, all these little things become major problems within you.
This is why the whole thing about the inventory, the signs of help and well-being, that it must be kept alive till the 14th of January. Everything must be kept alive. You need music. You need more light. You need lamplight. You need all kinds of things to keep the atmosphere alive for yourself so that you don’t sink down and do not become susceptible to various negative forces that are always working upon us. It is just that some are sailing above it. Some are sinking into it.
So, this is the significance of Deepavali (Diwali).
On Diwali/Deepavali day you can’t be in a better place, can’t be in a more vibrant space.
The central theme in Diwali is specifically the triumph of light over darkness.
Many faith traditions have festivals of lights or that involve light during these darker, colder months in the Northern Hemisphere and Diwali is one of those. In a way, it’s a reminder that we will make it through these dark times. We can come together, and we can bring the light within ourselves to each other to bring joy to each other in the community.
Diwali represents a time of sweetness and friendship, well-being, and prosperity. The idea is that you light within and around your home nourish your own inner flame so that you may be a source of joy, radiance, and knowledge in this world.
Diwali – Festival of Lights – New Hindu Meditation Music for Spiritual Victory – Apr 8, 2019 – Zen Meditation Planet
Diwali Special Songs 2020 | Lakshmi Mata Aarti | Best Diwali Aarti Collections | दिवाली आरती 2020 – Nov 3, 2015 – Rajshri Soul
Easy Color Rangoli Designs For Diwali 2020 | Easy Deepavali Kolam Designs | Dussehra Rangoli Easy – Oct 23, 2020 – Pakka Local
https://youtu.be/3FH9E-GWKBAHEPPI (HAPPY) DIWALI 2014 – Sow carpet Spoof Song – PSA – Oct 21, 2014 – Ice Boys
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Being cognizant of international visitors, I want to do all that I can to communicate wisdom globally for all.