This story about celebrating Deepavali (Diwali) as a Muslim is written by one of our contributors, Sameera Begum. Some parts of the article may have been edited for length and clarity.
season has always been a very exciting period for me. Growing up as an Indian Muslim, I had plenty of other Indian friends and have been exposed to their culture ever since I was a child. Over the years, many of my friends have invited me to their houses to celebrate Deepavali
together with them and it is always a joyful experience.
My favourite part of the Deepavali
celebration is definitely the food! I love Indian cuisine and eating out at Indian restaurants. However, nothing beats the taste of homemade Indian food. I love trying out the dishes cooked by my friends’ mothers and grandmothers and it really makes my Deepavalispecial. And of course, the kuehs and murukkus! I have learnt from my colleagues and friends that many families prepare their kuehs and murukkus from scratch even though it is not an easy process. There is no lack of tasting the various kinds of murukkus and other delicacies prepared by them.
One tradition that I have always
enjoyed but not as prevalent anymore is receivingDeepavali
greeting cards. When I was in primary school, my friends and I used to exchange handmade Deepavali
cards with our wishes on it. I have also bought Deepavali
greeting cards from the bazaar in Little India
that featured my friends’ favourite Kollywood stars in the cover.
P.S. Heading to Little India? Check out our ultimate halal food guide for the bustling district!
More than the actual celebration, it is also fascinating to see how they prepare for the festival.
Recently, I was working in a place where the majority of my colleagues are Hindus and I have learnt a lot about how they prepare for Deepavali
. It is a very exciting time for them and naturally, the excitement also rubs on you. Similar to Eid, the Hindus also purchase new clothes and shop for new decoration items to adorn their homes. They shop for ingredients for the food and other traditional items such as lamps needed for the prayers that happen every Deepavali
morning. All these small bits of information have made me very appreciative of the Deepavali
P.S. Love learning about other cultures? Check out how our readercelebrated Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) in Seoul!
Over the years, I have learnt that it is important to cultivate mutual respect and appreciation for each other’s culture. I have picked up a lot of new knowledge and values from all these years of celebrating Deepavali
with my peers and I will always be grateful for this experience. Even though this year’s Deepavali
celebrations will be different due to limitations from the COVID-19 pandemic, I can’t wait to celebrate the occasion with my friends in spirit!
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