Diwali in Suva brought back the memories from childhood. We left India in 87 and ever since we have not celebrated diwali the way we do it in India and finally we did it Indian way right here in Suva. I must have put on extra 5 kilos with all the the goodies that we have been enjoying for the whole of november.
The first diwali treat was the fundraising diwali dinner on 26th Oct. organized by 'International Women's Association', I was in the organizing committee and Ankita too helped us with the computer work as ususal. We managed to raise a good amount which will go towards the 'Light Up Village' project in Matainadoi, Vanua Levu; I am coordinating this project at IWA front and liaising with with the 'Macuata Women's Association'. Then followed Rotary Diwali dinner on 27th Oct, Atul is a rotarian and it was lovely. We then attended Fiji Hindu Association Diwali Dinner which was a fundraising activity on 3rd nov.
On 9th Nov., we invited a close Indian friend, with a few other friends from Netherlands, England, Kenya, China/ Japan and Canada while our daughter invited some 10-12 friends of hers. Ankita with her friends took charge of the barbequeue in the garden while I organized a typical Indian meal inside the house. The atmosphere in Suva was just incredible, I could not help going back to childhood memories. For our daughter, it was the first diwali in true sense , we did everything that one would do during diwali, we put ion all the efforts to make this diwali a memorable one for all our daughter especially as this was her first traditional one. We have celebrated diwali in Nairobi, Papua New Guinea and Australia too; but nothing like 'Diwali in Fiji'. Although, in Nairobi, one could buy fireworks and go to the designated areas in town to do the fireworks, in PNG we could hardly get any fireworks apart from sparklers, our daughter felt diwali more obvious in Australia as compared to Nairobi or PNG. But, one could not miss diwali in Fiji where you start hearing your neighbours doing fireworks 3-4 days prior to diwali and it con
Here in Fiji, we could easily do everything that one would do in India during diwali. So, we decided to celebrate it in a traditional way with a few exceptions.
Right from shopping to diwali preparations at home to the actual diwali night, we tried incorporate everything we could to keep it close to a traditional diwali.
It was the first time for our daughter to buy fireworks like we do in India and then do the fireworks in her own house at diwali night; made mithais; bought clay diyas in addition to electric fairy lights to light up the place at night; bought 'Ganesh-Laxmi' idol as well as a steel dish a day before diwali (which is a symbolic thing to do). So all in all, it was true diwali especially for our child!