Burngreave Messenger

Issue 27 December 2002

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Diwali comes to Burngreave
by Chetna Patel

Diwali is the festival of lights, which is celebrated by Hindus all over the world.

It is believed that on this day Lord Rama saved his wife Sita from the demon Ravana. After spending fourteen years of exile in the forest he returns to his city Ayodha. Divas (lamps) were lit along the streets to express joy in his homecoming and to help him find his way home. Divas are still lit today to remember the happy event of Rama’s homecoming.

The goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth and prosperity) is also worshipped during Diwali. Every Hindu house is cleaned to welcome Lakshmi into their homes, hoping it will bring them happiness and prosperity. Diwali is also a time when sweetmeats, gifts and money are given to family and friends.

At the Hindu temple in Burngreave over 80 people attended an event to celebrate Diwali. Children and young people dressed in brightly coloured traditional suits and saris strutted their stuff to a mix of traditional and Bollywood style songs, as well as bhajans (religious songs) for the older generation. The celebrations became more upbeat as the evening went on and children, young and old people continued to enjoy the festivities.

Certificates were given to the young people who took part in the show, and then a delicious vegetarian meal prepared by the Temple was served to the members of the community. Dr Shiv Sharma, president of the temple said, “Diwali is likened to Christmas. It is a time when all family and community members come together to celebrate, enjoy themselves and forget their differences. It is also a time to remember those who are not with us, and to be thankful for what we have.”

 

Dancers celebrating Diwali.
Dancers celebrating Diwali.