Having Deepavali just around the corner is putting so much stress on us, particularly when we’re facing a global pandemic.
Of all the previous Deepavali celebrations, this would by far be our hardest, as we are still exploring this new way of life and trying to normalise everything, living in the ‘new normal’ they say.
But we also have to get ourselves hyped and geared up, since Deepavali comes only once a year, and we really don’t want to miss this chance to replenish our happiness.
As we already know, Deepavali signifies the ‘festival of light’, where darkness is driven out. So, we should apply this metaphor to our lives as well.
In this crucial moment, where we are all battling this Virus outbreak, let’s shift our focus away from the pandemic for a while to honour our biggest celebration.
Imagine celebrating Deepavali in the late 70s, where there were no mobile phones or technology related gadget to convey Deepavali wishes. It was all greeting cards back then, and do you remember when we used to paste all the cards we got as decorations on our walls?
People then used to be so excited to accept all those Deepavali wishes at school, and if you’re lucky enough, there’s a chance that you’ll receive anonymous Deepavali poetry that you’ll crack your head to figure out who may have sent the card.
In the last few years, there seem to be a decline in greeting cards, rather Deepavali wishes are now forwarded to various groups on Whatsapp. It’s nothing but a fuss – free text, and you should not be surprised if you receive two of the same wishes.
Some of us, to make life easier would have also visited Uncle Google to copy and paste Deepavali wishes from there. How simple and non-celebrative has Deepavali become now?
On the other hand, people have started using stickers of the Rangoli kolam. Folks claim it saves more time to use this alternative, but it also kills the real intention of drawing the kolam.
Traditionally, different patterns were drawn on the floor to feed insects with a design made from edible grains and vegetable colouring dyes. This act of kindness is practised in Hindu teachings. Now, however, the kolam is only used for decoration, forgetting its original meaning.
Isn’t it hilarious to hear that the festival of lights is celebrated without the oil lamp?
Hindus now choose to buy twinkle lights to decorate their homes. The reasoning is perhaps that twinkle lights are safer to use as it does not cause any damage in the event of the oil lamp spilling over and is also hassle-free.
At the same time, we should also agree that the uniqueness of the oil lamp lighting gives this festival a very traditional touch.
Even murukku and other snacks we have during Deepavali are ordered elsewhere. This is the result of the newer generation not knowing how to make murukku as good and tasty as our amma’s and ammamah’s.
As a Hindu, it is very important to keep following our traditional practices in order to pass on our heritage to the generations to come.
There are traditions we should still value such as drawing the Rangoli kolam, making murukkus, lighting oil lamps, buying new traditional clothes that bear Hindu elements.
The old way of celebrating Deepavali expresses our culture and the belief that we practise.
That being said, things have changed and Deepavali has evolved a lot over the years due to many factors, including the explosive development of technology bringing forth the modern Deepavali.
Yet there must still be a few souls out there who probably still crave for the nostalgic, old Deepavali celebration. Are you one of them?