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Nov 4, 2021

Indian Belizeans Celebrate Diwali

The arrival of East Indians to Belize dates back to the eighteen hundreds.  From these early origins and waves of more recent immigration, many Indian Belizeans have taken the lead in trade, education, medicine, governance and law.  In spite of the distance between Belize and their motherland, in both time and space, many enjoy one of the biggest traditional celebrations, Diwali, or the festival of lights.  We spoke via zoom to Denish Bhojwani about keeping this tradition, and the community bonds it creates, alive in the Diaspora.


Denish Bhojwani

Denish Bhojwani, Director, Indian Community.

“It is like anything else. So, if you generally don’t have something you tend to value it a little bit more. If you look around the world, the Diaspora tends to celebrate Diwali, it’s probably, I would like to say, it is probably the biggest celebration in India. So it kind of brings the community together as well, go over to see family, go over to see friends. I equate it to, from a celebratory stand point and the way it is done, it is very similar to Christmas. In that, family gets together, you buy new clothes, you buy new jewelry. It is an auspicious time to buy a house, to buy a car, and you get to spend a lot of time celebrating. From that stand point, it is very similar in that. And, I think it is important for us to pass on some of these traditions to the next generation. They always say, if you truly want to know who a person is then know where they came from. I think that is important in our culture to try to give that to our next generation, the spirituality, the language, all of these things are very important, I think for any religion or for any culture, to be honest. I’d like to say in the mother tongue “wishing you all the very best for this Diwali,(translated)” to all the members of the Indian Community. But I’d also like to extend a happy Diwali to everybody in Belize. It is not just something that is unique to us. Yes, it is from us, but it can also be by us. And, we would like everyone to celebrate.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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