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Some Diwali photos, past and present

by on October 25, 2014

I’ve written about Diwali before; it’s a Hindu holiday where you clean your house, settle your financial accounts, buy new clothes and light fireworks. I mean, there’s more to it than that, but that’s the gist of what everyone else is doing this week. Everyone is dressed up in gorgeous clothes,  celebrating the triumph of light over darkness, and making awesome food. Go read that post for more background.

Since I don’t have much new to add, here are some photos of Diwali celebrations, advertisements and decorations around Suva from 2012 to 2014:

IMG_1526IMG_1524You can buy fireworks at the supermarket here, and they are not terribly expensive. If you come from a place that severely restricts fireworks sales, Fiji during Diwali might be your ideal vacation spot.

Maybe I just watch too many old horror films, but I associate cane knives and pitchforks with angry villagers ganging up to kill Frankenstein’s monster (which makes the ad placement on a page about election result disputes unfortunate given this country’s history of coups). Though the ad is probably just encouraging you to clear the brush from your land when you do your Diwali housecleaning.

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Diwali is a fine time to stock up on god statues. The prices on these advertisments  are written on drawings of diyas, an oil lamp used during Diwali (and other times too, but you’ll see a bunch of them this time of year).

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Roman candles are a good “gateway firework” for the youngsters. Don’t worry, there is an adult (out of frame) supervising the pyrotechnics. There are also warnings in the newspaper reminding people to watch the hems of their clothes around fireworks and diyas.

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Rangoli  made of sand, rice, colored powders or drawn in chalk are often placed in doorways. It can take a while for some expat Americans and Europeans to adjust to the sight of swastikas being displayed as a holy symbol instead of..well, you know. The ones here often have those dots, which helps.

Anyway, happy Diwali to everyone reading this, and happy Deepawali to my favorite readers from South India (ya’ll know who you are. 🙂 )

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