Image by HoneyKids
Malaysia is a multi-race, multi-religion, and multi-belief country. Deepavali(Diwali), which is also known as the Festival of Lights is not only celebrated by the Indian community but also Jains and Sikhs. Deepavali is celebrated for five days. Now, let’s walk into the Indian community’s shoes to celebrate Deepavali together!
1. Observing the aspects of the Deepavali celebration
Deepavali or Diwali? Well, both are actually the same. According to National Geographic, Southern India celebrates it as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura while Northern India celebrates as the story of King Rama’s after he defeated Ravana by clay lamps. No matter which of it, Deepavali is heralded as a time for victory over darkness with abundant lights.
“The first thing I will do in the morning of Deepavali is to take an oil bath that symbolises purification, this is a must for me and my family every year,” said Dinnie. Symbolically, a sesame oil bath will be taken on the morning of Deepavali before heading to the temple for prayers. According to Indian Express, as per mythology, goddess Mahalaxmi is said to have hidden behind a sesame tree, that is why sesame oil is used for oil bath. Catch sight of the vibrant celebrations, attire, and religious rituals of the atmosphere when you get to the Hindu temple during Deepavali!
Image by Rosy
2. Being open to participate in the tradition
Deepavali is not only a continuous tradition for the Indians community but also an important festival for them to demonstrate cohesion. “Deepavali is an occasion where the entire family can feat on delicious foods and sweets, so I think it brings people together when we celebrate Deepavali together,” said Premi.
According to Indian Spice, South India considered Deepavali one day earlier than the actual start of the festival as this is the day they generally wear new clothes, exchanging sweets as well as visiting. North India starts the festival with ‘Dhanteras’, which is two days earlier than the actual Deepavali. These are the days for cleaning and decorating house to invite Goddess Lakshmi, which they believe will bring priorities in the families.
When you get into their house for visiting, remember to count your happiness - you’d be treated with their traditional Indians sweets, mouth-watering food, as well as their enthusiasm among one another, joy, lights, and integration among one another.
Image by Anupy Singla
3. Learning about and experiencing the Deepavali tradition
Traditional Hindu art ‘Kolam’ will take your sight away as a symbolisation of auspiciousness. It is hanging at the front entrance of every home during Deepavali. According to Flickr, Kolam is a mainly South Indian style of colourful drawings formed that is made of rice flour, coloured rice, coloured sand, or even flower petals. It is widely practiced by females in South India. “Usually, women decorate it but there's be instances where men decorate too,” explain Premi. In North India, it is called Rangoli which is thought to bring good luck, prosperity, calmness, and happiness to their creators.
“We don’t use black colour for Kolam because we considered black as negative energy in Indian culture,” said Dinnie. Also, remember to pamper your taste buds with the mouth-watering cuisines as it makes Deepavali particularly special. Relish yourself with the scrumptious Indian food on Deepavali.
Together, we feel the vibes among each other. We celebrate Deepavali together. Not anyone, but Malaysian. Happy Deepavali!
By Mabel Sim