Posts Tagged ‘Indian diaspora’

Shubh Diwali

November 2, 2013

It is that time of year again. Diwali is celebrated this year on 2nd November in the South and on 3rd November in North India.

For Indians and the Indian diaspora it is the biggest festival of the year. For the children, the excitement is unbearable and the anticipation is sublime.

A time for Presents. New clothes. Lights. Fireworks. Nuts. Sweets galore. And for the young men (mainly) there a session of teen patte (three-card brag) with a modicum of alcohol through the night. And the whiff of bhang is not unkown.

If there was any religious significance to the day it has long since gone (though it may still seem faintly religious on the surface). It is also the time for corporate gift giving in a very big way. Suppliers to customers. Petitioners to politicians. Litigants to the legal fraternity. Tenants to landlords. Patients to their doctors. Giving thanks in advance (call it relationship building to be kind or you could call it a form of social bribery) for the year to come.

But within the family or feudal unit it is different. Here there are new clothes, sweets and money and presents. From parents to children, From the head of the family to the servants. From the zamindars to the tenant farmers. From the masters to the serfs. At every household the local artisans and service providers will call to receive their baksheesh. The newspaper guy, the electrician, the plumber, the carpenter, the cable guy, the vegetable hawker and even the beat policeman. (And you can be sure that the receivers compare notes about the generosity of the various households).

You may give little if you cannot afford more, but to refuse to give baksheesh is most unseemly and beyond the pale.

But it is generally a time of goodwill  Рand I reckon the goodwill level is about 10% higher than the long -term average. (Which of course begs the question as to when the goodwill is lower than average?).

A Happy Diwali to you all.

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