As an Indian student studying at the University of Limerick, Svetlana reflects on the traditional happenings in her home country at this time of year and encourages students who are away from home to still gather and celebrate Diwali.
This one word can light up the face of every Indian student in UL. It doesn’t matter which part of India they come from the only thing that matters is that any and every Indian festival can bring us all together as one. At the very heart of every Indian student, Diwali is like a light ready to brighten up our homes and lives, this would be the time when our moms would get us to start cleaning the house from the windowsills to the cabinets there would not be even a speck of dust visible. Shopping would have started in full swing, right from clothes, jewellery, decorations, firecrackers basically anything and everything; this was an excuse for everyone to get and buy what they wanted doesn’t matter what age group they belonged to everyone would become a child once the lanterns were put up, the diyas were lit up and the sweets were distributed.
Diwali or Deepavali is a Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in the southern hemisphere). One of the most popular festivals, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. It is a festival for anyone and everyone to come together to have sweets from different households, flavours, and cultures. Kaju Katli to Gujiya and even Barfi! I’m sure just reading these three words all the Indians must have got a nostalgic hit and even a little teary-eyed. It is in moments like these that we wish to share and celebrate this festival with all our friends from different countries and religions.
At the University of Limerick, we have been welcomed with open hands, right from planning our stay to including us all in their festivities and occasions UL has gone above and beyond. And so, we as Indians also want to invite every single individual on the campus, because the only time you can truly enjoy any festival and especially Diwali is when you celebrate it together, when everyone is a part of the festivities, with people who make you feel at home.