Celebrating Diwali at work

Hi everyone. Diwali is next week! Do you think Diwali celebration is becoming more mainstream here? Do you celebrate Diwali at home and in your community only or do you take your traditions to office and school?

When I was working I never celebrated Diwali at work. First, I was very much in the ‘fit in’ mode. I also did not know how my workplace, which never tried to force religious celebrations of any kind on any one would react. Plus, I had seen some of my Jewish colleagues take umbrage to being handed Christmas cards (as opposed to ‘Holiday cards’). In addition, Diwali was big only in Delhi – in Cal it was never that big.

But last year I celebrated Diwali in a big way here and enjoyed it. As I asked around, I found that many people celebrated Diwali at work already. My American friends loved it.

And why not? Isnt celebrating different cultures part of enjoying life in multicultural mayhem?

What do you think? Do add your comments.

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7 Comments

  1. sarmila

    our occasion starts from Dhanteras itself, that day we buy jwelleries or any kind of crockeries which you can offer to Ganesh and Lakshmi, that day we make Laddus and offer to Gods and Godess, next day is the Bhutchaturdashi, here we don’t get the 14 Shaks(leafy staffs), but in India we used to eat the 14 shaks fry along with the rice. here we light 14 candles inside and outside to eradicate all the evils. next day is Kalipujo, we celebrate in our organization BAGC.net, we do pujas in our home , offer flowers and sweets to Ma Kali, then we go to our organization there also we have Puja , followed by dinner and cultural programs, next day is Diwali, we decorate our house with Diyas or Candles, we make good foods,
    to us Diwali is a gorgeous festival, we wear new clothes, designer sarees and jwelleries.

  2. Khushi

    Sarmila, thank you for descriving this. You are so right about the forgeousness. I forgot about the shaks!

  3. Tana

    I don’t remember how many years ago (2? 3?) but Diwali was officially recognized in the White House, and my classical music guru, Pandita Tripti Mukherjee was the artiste of choice to perform at the White House. Ever since then, I’ve noticed Diwali become more mainstream in the U.S.
    My best couple friends (who are American white)always wish me for Diwali, and they even light a diya in their home on or around the day, which is often close to Halloween. This year a few of us Indians and non-Indians are getting together to decorate with rangoli, diyas and even watch patakas – apparently some industrious microsoftie has permission from the City of Sammamish to burn fireworks!

  4. Anonymous

    Hia,

    am not a member of this site but your blog was interesting.

    am based in london. i know how it feels to go to work but at the back of our mind we know that some of our relatives are celebrating, it is a day to celebrate. well, to my luck, at my work, people do know what diwali is and instead i was been asked if i’ve got sweets for them! since last few years i bring sweets at work and they seem to like it except that they always say they are too sweet for them but for a change they like them. I also received emails from other indian people working abroad wishing diwali, which is great and puts me into festive mood.

  5. Khushi

    Anonymous, thank you. Hope you had a great diwali

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