By coming together to celebrate happy occasions like Eid, Holi, Diwali, Christmas we accept and rejoice in the differences and lead the way to peace in our region
By Huma Ahmar
Last Thursday evening brought back fond memories of the times we celebrated Holi and Diwali with our Indian friends abroad.
The evening also highlighted the rich cultural diversity of the Subcontinent. We are lucky to have such amazing cultural heritage and we should be proud to own and preserve it. By coming together to celebrate happy occasions like Eid, Holi, Diwali, Christmas we accept and rejoice in the differences and lead the way to peace and stability in our part of the world.
Songs, laughter and joyous smiles welcomed us as walked into the compound of the Swami Narayan Temple at Lighthouse, Karachi.
It was such a charged, charming and festive atmosphere. Loved all the colours flying, merging and drenching people, dying everyone the same without discrimination! All religious divides were wiped away and we were all friends enjoying a happy occasion together.
My 16 year old daughter, Kiran commented afterwards, “We joined hands and came together exemplifying peaceful coexistence, celebrating diversity and promoting cultural harmony and it is so much fun!”
The occasion also served to remind us of the similarity of the human spirit across the political line of divide. We laugh at the same jokes, enjoy the same music and relish the same culinary delights on offer. By bringing our children to such festivities to enjoy the similarities and embracing the differences we show them the value of respecting and promoting tolerance, unity.
Prayers and melody of bells ringing at the temple, bonfire, a rainbow of colours, friends having fun, children buying toys, families enjoying food, songs and dances, all wrapped in an aura of excitement and joy!
Surely the celebrations were not so different across the border!
Aman ki Asha!
Huma Ahmar is an educationist and researcher based in Karachi, Pakistan. Email: [email protected]