This year, all generations are adapting to the way in which we are going to celebrate Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.
For many, Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas has always been about spending time with our elders. It is a sacred and grounding experience to sit at the feet of one’s elders as they chant the mantras and chaupais of our sacred texts. Through a journey of humour, compassion and intense emotion, the elders in the family guide us through the pujas or rituals together. Every year, these auspicious days feel like a beautiful dream that illuminate the soul, leaves its mark and glides away; each moment is savoured and stored into a reservoir of memories. As we grow older, it becomes increasingly important to feel at peace, to absorb the love and reconnect with our elders, those around us and with ourselves.
These experiences, the beauty of the Jain, Hindu and Sikh narratives of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas, are now more important than ever. This year, these Vedic traditions are looking very different. Despite all our celebrations and ceremonies moving online and the separation from family, our elders are determined to ensure that this year each of us receives the same blessings and warmth as always. However, it is this foundational essence of light over darkness, liberation and peace that will carry us through these times. Little by little, day by day, our elders and ancestors always let us know that we will surely find our way.
Aryan in Lower Sixth writes that, “As someone who comes from a relatively big family, I am going to miss seeing all my cousins this Diwali and the array of food that is usually spread across the tables. It is one of the only times in the year where the whole family is together in one room; the infectious sensation of familial love is what makes this occasion so extraordinary!”
Aaron and Eshaan in Year 1 shared their views about this year’s Diwali experience: “This year because of COVID-19 we will miss seeing our great grandma, who makes all our favourite Diwali foods like ladoos (Indian sweet), kachoris (fried pastry stuffed with peas or lentils) and samosas. We will also miss our grandparents. We will have a new experience this year, celebrating over Zoom. This year we wanted to do something different, so we made a Rangoli out of Lego and we are going to do fireworks in the garden and love waving sparklers and making patterns. We love hearing the story of Ram and Sita which reminds us to be good.”
Written by Ishaan (Upper Sixth).