NRIs celebrate Diwali with gifts from home, local get-togethers | Pune News – Times of India


PUNE: From community events to receiving faral hampers, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) living across the world are getting together to celebrate Diwali in the way they know best.
Shibu Tawar from Cary, North Carolina, USA, is part of a large Indian community that starts this festival’s celebrations a month prior. He said, “We look forward to Diwali every year. The Indian communities across the country organise various competitions and fairs, which we are eager to participate in. It is also a great chance for my daughter to learn our culture. This year, US-based retailers are offering discounts on Diwali paraphernalia, too.”

He added, “We also always receive sweets and savouries made by my mother, traditional clothes and some other knick-knacks from India. ”
Priya Pandey Pathak from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, said the city has a large Gujarati community that gets together to celebrate. “We make sweets and meet our friends after Laxmi Puja. For the last few years, we have also been getting permission from local governing authorities to burst firecrackers. A few local Tanzanians also know about Diwali and never fail to wish us,” she said.
Smaller and more intimate gatherings are also common among the NRI community. Janhavi Savaikar, living in Ottawa, Canada, said, since she does not have any close relatives there, her husband and she celebrate the festival with friends.
“We will light diyas, eat some good food and go to a friend’s house. We also attend Diwali events as they are a great opportunity to network,” Savaikar told TOI.
Soma Ghata from Seattle, USA, has planned,her celebrations this year. “We will be spending Diwali eve with our close expat friends, perform a puja on Choti Diwali and visit 11 Indian families in our neighborhood to seek blessings of Goddess Lakshmi. A potluck dinner is also in the mix.”
Also participating in a potluck, several miles away in Hamburg, Germany, is Bhashini Bhat. “A few friends are coming together for a potluck dinner this Diwali. We will light candles and phooljaris as we listen to Punjabi songs,” she said.
In Ad Dawha, Qatar, Keertana Koduru fills her home with festive vibes as she decorates it with lights, flowers and diyas. “We wear traditional clothes, while gorging on sweets and other Indian food. For us, the festival is all about getting together with loved ones and having a nice time,” Koduru said.

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