Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | October 20, 2008

Attending Diwali festival

The Diwali festival that I attended in Auckland City last weekend, taught me the following ten things:

1. Indians are everywhere and they just wait to be unleashed (somehow this word suits very well to us);
2. These days we are synonymous with Bollywood. Either Bollywood has really marketed itself well enough or we have failed at everything else;
3. Though I love our traditional dressing but these days I find it too gaudy. I think we are misreading our style in simplicity;
4. Westerners seem to enjoy Indian food and dancing because of its flashiness. It was exciting to see they eating the food forgetting about health issues as regards to excess oil;
5. Our music on loud speaker can disturb even the peace in heaven;
6. Bhangra has a global appeal and can get onto anyone’s nerve beyond a point;
7. May be because of the nature of our food (which is dependent on curry) or the way we generally eat, I am not sure but it looks ugly when Indian food is eaten by every single one of nearly a thousand inside a fare;
8. It can get really crowded in Auckland city – yes my fellow Desi Brothers and sisters did help me to witness the first crowded event out here;
9. Fireworks on sky for a brief ten minutes can be spectacular. It made any pain felt whatsoever insignificant;
10. We would never change for sure either for better or even for worse. I am sure in general we were like this only.

I loved attending the event and felt proud but I am sure we can surely do better as a nation. Those who don’t know anything beyond Bollywood and cricket about India should be told about everything nicer that exists. We have to do that or else none will.

I think this problem plagues every Asian nation where we have never really projected our culture properly barring our food. Many of us have disowned it and washed our hands off.

Sad isn’t it?

Also question is, I tend to rant about India but is it true that all festivals are generally loud and gaudy? I think so there is some amount of animal extinct attached to human exuberance. Absolutely, unrelated perhaps and without any offense to anyone let me ask myself (and if there are any other readers) is laughing loudly in a public place where others may get disturbed offensive?

Anyway, recently heard William Dalrymple mentioning there should be more translations of Indian regional literature like there have been of French, Russian and Scandinavian literature. It can be a good starting point but is it happening enough?


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