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Nov 11, 2015

Indian Community Celebrates Diwali in Belize

Every year around this time, the Indian Community celebrates their new year. Known as Diwali or Deepawali, it is a festival of lights that religiously commemorates the return of King Rama from exile into the City of Iola in India. In India, houses and businesses are dressed with strings of lanterns across the country. Here in Belize, tonight at the Hindu Temple on Albert Street, the local Indian Community will gather for a celebration and on November twenty-first the annual Diwali Ball will be held at the Ramada Belize City Princess. It is all about the Indian cultural experience, says Director Kishore Bhojwani of the Belize Indian Community.

 

Kishore Bhojwani

Kishore Bhojwani, Director, Belize Indian Community

“It’s the triumph of good over evil because while Lord Rama was a king who was in exile, he defeated evil and that evil was destroyed and the good that is now Rama prevailed. Therefore, it means that the triumph of the good over the evil. Of this is to speak religiously and to speak on the outward. But there is an inward and a spiritual meaning to the Diwali as well. Since it is the triumph of the good over the evil, all of us inside have that same good and bad; we are all a composition of these two. So when we feed the good, we destroy the evil and the more cautiously we proceed with our lives, keeping god in mind and do good, not bad then slowly but surely the good takes over and the evil is forever destroyed. So those are the spiritual aspects of Diwali. Of course there is a big pump and show and there is a lot of lights that are displayed and sweets distributed amongst friends and family and we have the Belize Hindu Temple here on Albert Street and the entire community is gonna come together in the temple and we are going to celebrate it together. Of course to enjoy it further, we always have the annual Diwali Ball and we have a Belize Indian Community and we have a Board…and the Board puts through the Diwali Ball. This year it is going to be at the Ramada Princess on the twenty-first. For now it is confined to mostly the Indian gathering here in Belize, but come next year, we plan to open it up even to the general public and the Belizean invitees and so on and so forth so that everybody gets to know the Hindu culture and the Indian standings here in Belize. And when you start partaking in different cultural events, you get to know more about the community. And everybody knows that we’ve been here for a long time. I mean I consider myself more of a Belizean than an Indian. I Mena I’ve been here twenty-five years now so that itself shows how strong our ties and bonds are with the country here and with the entire society. So when occasions like this come, Diwali, we want to make the best as possible. For now it is with the community, but in the future we are going to expand it further and the BIC is going to take a very active part.”

 

While the Diwali is the festival of Lights, there is also Holi, which is the festival of colors that is held sometime around Easter. And it is celebrated annually with organic color imported from Indian. 

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