Diwali is one of the important Indian festivals. Needless to say, the entire Diwali month is a carnival, with shops, stalls and sellers displaying their wares. People would indulge in guilt-free shopping and enjoy themselves heartily. With online shopping portals also giving a variety of discounts and offers, the festival of Diwali is something to look forward to. Not losing the traditional touch, many people worship, cook, pray, celebrate, and enjoy as a community.
Exploring how each nation celebrates Diwali is quite interesting. It is heartening to discover that Indians carry forward our traditions and our rich culture, wherever they go.
Diwali in the UK
Diwali is celebrated enthusiastically by Indians settled in the UK. People wear newly bought ethnic dresses and cook delicious meals. England has many Indian grocery shops and hotels where good food and sweets are available. Many people either cook or buy sweets and distribute them among the community. Surprisingly, many English people also love to participate in the festivals as they love Indian culture.
Diwali in the USA:
Over the decades, many Indians have settled down in different parts of the USA. Diwali is considered as a community festival, so people gather and celebrate it as a community in parks or temples.
Diwali in Australia
Australia has a good population of Indian settlers. Therefore the festival of Diwali is celebrated grandly, with carnivals and fairs organized in cities like state capitals and Melbourne. The events include a fireworks show, food stalls selling Diwali sweets and delicacies, musical performances and burning effigies of Ravana.
Diwali in Mauritius
As per the census, around sixty-three percent of the population in Mauritius has Indian origins, and almost eighty percent of them are Hindus. Therefore, the celebration of Diwali is common here. Diwali is celebrated to commemorate the coming back of Lord Rama after fourteen years of exile.
Diwali in the Kingdom of Nepal
This Hindu kingdom has lost its Hindus-only status due to people’s conversion to other faiths. The Diwali festival is called 'Tihar' in the Kingdom of Nepal and is celebrated for 5 days, during the months of October/November. On the first day of the celebrations, cattle are given offerings. On the second day, animals like dogs are revered and offered special food. On the third day, roads and the houses are decorated with lights and lamps. Various social activities are conducted as well. On the fourth day, Yama, the Lord of Death, is appeased. On the fifth and final day of the celebration, brothers and sisters meet and exchange gifts.
Diwali in Malaysia:
Diwali is an important festival in Malaysia, despite the fact that only 8% of the population is Hindu. It is celebrated as Hari Diwali and it is a government holiday. Temples are decorated with flowers and oil lamps whereas parades and concerts are also organized in major cities. Malaysia has strictly prohibited firecrackers in the country.
Diwali in Indonesia:
The name of the country springs from 2 Greek words: "Indos" which means ‘Indian’ and "Nesos" which means ‘islands’. This country has a lot of indigenous Hindus, who celebrate this festival. It is widely known that the majority of the people here follow Islam. Diwali is also celebrated by the people who came to Indonesia from India. The island of Bali is famed for its Diwali celebrations. The festival is unique and has various traditions that are very different than that of India.
Diwali in Singapore
Singapore is one of the countries which has a lot of Indians. Serangoon Road in Singapore is known for its Diwali celebrations. This is the place where most people of Indian origin reside. Throughout Diwali, the streets in Singapore are completely crammed with Indians, who enjoy the festival along with their families. The archways are embellished with flowers and garlands and diyas are lit. Many people visit Hindu temples in Singapore to offer prayers.
Diwali in Fiji
The celebration isn’t much different for the people here as the Indo-Fijian community is very similar to the Indian community. Along with the Hindus in this island nation, many non-Hindus also participate in the festival. Kids burst crackers and actively participate in various events. They exchange sweets amongst one another.