YOUTH CORNER: Celebrating Diwali in Dubai

YOUTH CORNER: Celebrating Diwali in Dubai
Young people from different countries: not that different, really

All of us hailing from unique and different background – Indians, Pakistanis, Algerians, Americans and an Egyptian – came together as human beings

By Parma Abbas

By Parma Abbas

Diwali, or the festival of lights, is mainly a Hindu festival held to celebrate the beginning of a new financial year and is mostly associated with the goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi. The festival also celebrates the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. In fact, the word Diwali originated from the word ‘deepavali’ which means a row of lamps. This shows the importance of light in the celebration of this festival.

To celebrate Diwali this year, my friends and I dressed in traditional Indian clothes such as Lehngas, Shalwar Kameez and Kurtas and went to one of our Indian friends’ houses. In total there were 10 of us and we all hailed from unique and different background, some of us were Indians, some were Pakistanis, there were even Algerians and Americans and one of us was an Egyptian.

Diwali was fun: you don't have to be from the same culture to enjoy it

Diwali was fun: you don’t have to be from the same culture to enjoy it

We were in Burjuman, Dubai and almost every house there had balconies decorated with various sorts of fairy lights – a beautiful sight to see from the balcony of the first floor apartment building we had gone to. Later on in the evening we went downstairs where many families had already gathered on the street, and joined them in setting off firecrackers. Afterwards we went back upstairs and ate traditional Indian food, Aloo puri (potatoes and fried bread).

This experience has made me realize that regardless of one’s culture, religion or race you can celebrate each and every festival in full swing. Our religion, background, culture and race shouldn’t hold us back and stop us from celebrating an occasion rooted in another religion or culture.

I think my favorite part was that even though we all belonged to different religions and cultures we still accepted this festival and gathered to celebrate it together.

Parma Abbas is a Grade 10 student living in Dubai​.

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