The meaning of Diwali

2017-10-26 06:00

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THE South African Indian culture is the most original, with many similarities to what you see in Bollywood movies or read about Indian heritage.

South African Indians have developed a twist to the culture that many of us enjoy today.

I have been introduced to the term “extra”, and depending on how much time you spend on social media platforms, you might have come across the word.

Extra not used in a standard form, but as a slang among the younger generation when something is defined as being “over the top”, which is one way of describing the South African Indian culture.

The bright colours, the glitz, the glamour, the music and dancing are some of which defines Indian culture. As people around the world celebrate Diwali this week, South Coast families spend the week preparing for the festival.

I know it is Diwali when my home smells of sweetmeats, made with ghee and elachi.

Although most know about Diwali as being the festival of lights, the day is better defined as the triumph of good over evil.

I have fond memories of my brother and I listening to stories of the Ramayan and how Lord Ram slayed the Demon King to save Mother Sita with Luchman and Hunuman ji by his side.

I’m sure many know the story of Diwali or the Ramayan. It is usually tradition to tell the story of the Ramayan to the children over Diwali. The principles we learn from the story are even more important.

When we do learn of the Ramayan, one of the most admirable relationships is the relationship between Lord Ram and Hanuman ji.

Hanuman ji was loyal, dedicated and his pure love for Lord Ram was proven by his devotion towards him. Luchman was Lord Rams brother with their relationship we are reminded of the importance of the bond between siblings, the bond is built from love, support, protection and understanding.

As is the norm to fight with our siblings, so did Lord Ram and Luchman but they always supported each other and when Lord Ram went to war Luchman fought right beside him.

The legendary story of the Ramayan unfolds around the capture of Mother Sita who was Lord Ram’s wife, during their exile away from the kingdom of Ayodhya. Lords Ram’s devotion and love for his wife left no stone unturned to rescue her from the clutches of Ravana the Demon King.

We were also told about the qualities that Ravana possessed. He didn’t respect any relationships or prove to be a good king to the people of his kingdom.

We are taught that good deeds will always triumph.

Ravana killed people and animals and showed no respect for anything living when the war was initiated Lord Ram killed Ravana to save the people and his wife.

The day that Lord Ram, Mother Sita, Luchman and Hanuman ji set of on their journey back to Ayodhy, clay lamps were lit at night to lighten up their path and to symbolise the triumph of good over evil. Therefore Diwali is a celebration of good over evil.

The day of Diwali starts with an early morning cleanse where three types of oils for cleansing are mixed together and put onto your body before you bath.

Thereafter, traditional Eastern attire is worn and families then distribute sweetmeat parcels. By evening families gather to pray, clay lamps are lit around the house and celebrations begin.

Be encouraged, nothing good ever came fast and easy, and if it did it never stayed. Practice faith, patience and self-sufficiency daily in order to receive that peace, love and completeness in your life. May the goodness keep getting better. Happy Diwali.


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