“Maybe they finally fixed those broken street lamps,” you suggest as you ponder on why your neighbourhood has been looking so wondrously lit these days. Well bad news is, that’s not likely the case.
Good news? Deepavali is just around the corner! And your neighbours’ lively decorations are just an appetiser to the festival’s offerings.
Dazzling lights say hello as you step into your local shopping malls. Classic Tamil and Hindi movies play on TV all day long. Colourful rangoli rice art displays lay out for all to bask in.
The Festival of Lights presents a strong backbone of tradition and symbolism. But it has also developed to be a familiar celebration that we, as a compassionately multicultural society, grew up to each revel in our own way. And by “we”, we also mean us here at Fave.
So here’s a peek at how Deepavali hits some of our dedicated colleagues.
from People Team.
While she feels Deepavali celebrations are a tad less frequent on her side, JJ still celebrates precious moments with her family back in her hometown whenever she gets the chance.
“We would make various Indian cookies and sweets to pack into boxes and distribute to neighbours, relatives, and friends.”
Those receiving would then empty out the containers of assorted sweets and snacks (known as palagaram) and refill them with some of their own. The containers are full again with snacks and sugary joy upon return to JJ’s family—a token of gratitude.
“So, it’s like a sweet relationship!” she adds in the bubbliest tone.
Gifting aside, she reveals that her fondest part of Deepavali is always the breakfast, among family and over a cosy spread of leftover thosai, idli, and curries from the previous night.
“Having my mother wake me and my sister up in the morning, and us really sitting together as a family around our small dining table.”
She also drops a pro tip for curry leftovers: Keep them for the next morning, because those thick leftover chicken and mutton curries in the morning “are just—heaven”.
from Business Development.
Come Deepavali, she heads back to her hometown to celebrate with her family.
“We start the day at the temple’s special morning programme. Then, my mum would cook a special lunch for the occasion. And we’d visit homes of relatives, colleagues, friends, and other open houses in the evening onward. They would serve an extensive spread of meats, seafood, curries, vegetables, and Indian sweets.”
Being from a Punjabi family, Sharan celebrates the North Indian Diwali a tinge different from Deepavali celebrations by folks of South Indian descent, the latter more familiar within the country. However, traditions intersect in that communion with loved ones over lots and lots (and not to mention—lots) of food is a core practice.
“Most memorable experience? This one celebration where my uncle who was working in New Zealand came back to visit.”
Sharan’s uncle had been working away for over 20 years so she has never had the opportunity to meet him since she was a child. His return—their reunion—gave the family a reason to spend even more time together during the festival.
from Customer Happiness.
If you’ve reached out to our support team before, there’s a chance you’ve had a chat with him!
While from a Hokkien family, Alex has close friends from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures. This has given him the opportunity to celebrate Deepavali and experience its culture, as his celebrating friends would invite him to their open houses.
So, his annual Deepavali experience is mainly about 3 things:
- His friends
- His friends’ families
- His friends’ families’ food
“A big part of it for me is the gathering—and the food, particularly the Indian cuisine.”
Families and friends spending time together, eating together. Just chilling. Because after all, Deepavali celebrates the victory of light over darkness. How more fitting to celebrate than among loved ones (i.e. people, food) right?
His experience also extends to the festive activities we all love: Decorating the house with candles and oil lamps. Getting henna. Staring in awe at gorgeous rangoli decor.
“I remember one where, after an afternoon of chilled makan and chit chat, they started turning up the music towards the night.” He describes a memorable celebration with a very cheerful, candid family.
“Next thing you know, everyone was out at the porch dancing in the middle of the night. It was a different kind of meriah from what you get at other cultural celebrations.”
There you have it
While the festival may not bear the same meaning for all of us, it presents an opportunity for us to each create that meaning for ourselves. For these fine folks, it’s a reason to spend precious time with cherished ones, as well as to embark on a personal journey of discoveries.
So get lit with your Deepavali and Diwali celebrations and surround yourself with friends, family, colleagues,—or maybe even strangers!
Wait! But what about in the office?
Speaking of spending time together with cherished ones, we also had our very own Deepavali celebration at the office this time round, thanks to our dedicated People Team.
Take a peek at our shenanigans below before you go.
We hope you have a wonderful Deepavali this year and wishing all those travelling back to hometowns a safe journey. Happy Deepavali once again from us at Fave!