Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Evolution of Diwali

As a kid, Diwali was always kind of a pain.

Months of dance practice and awkward partnerings with boys from the community. Getting the right dress for the dance, or each dance, depending on how many dances we were in for the year.

It was all for them. We were put through this torture to entertain our parents. Diwali was their holiday and after 8th grade(ish), I wanted no part of it.

They could go and celebrate it with the India Association of Peoria and I would go and hang out with my friends.

Now...Diwali seems to be seeping into American culture. Perhaps, most notably, thanks to the "Diwali" episode of The Office.

As an adult, Diwali is glaringly mine to carry on and celebrate in the best way I know how. Last year the aunties would complain about celebrating Diwali in the States and how it wasn't as fun here. I've never celebrated a Diwali in India. I feel like I'm missing out on something.

However, there has been a sharp shift from the childhood associations of torment I used to carry from the festival, to a feeling of  family,warmth, light and love.

I think those two years alone, cold and hungry in Korea helped reinforce these warm, happy Diwali feelings.

So, for that, Korea, I thank you.

Also, I guess I have Obama's America to thank as well. More Asians were elected to political office this year than any other year.

Tulsi Gabbard, freshly elected to Congress, will be taking her oath on the Bhagavad Gita.

Thanks to her and many others "this pesky Hinduism thing" that I've always had to tend to is filtering into the mainstream American landscape.

What a relief.

I will leave you with this:

I don't know whose cake this is or why I'm blowing out the candles.

The captivated audience

Months of practice
Pre-show channeling of Stevie Nicks, even though I didn't know who she was then.

1 comment:

  1. Holidays always bum me out, perhaps it's because of my divorced parents and all the memories I have stressing out over whose house I'm going to be at during the "big event."

    I'm trying to be happy this holiday season. I'm trying to create new traditions and new feelings. These photos made me happy. Seeing you all little and dancing. Did those little boys have mustaches?