Since moving to Wageningen, I have really started to appreciate the importance of festivals back home. The festival of lights called ‘Deepawali’, and has just begun in Nepal and India. This is the second year that I am celebrating the festival away from home.
Festivals used to have little meaning in my life apart from the fact that we used to get five days off. Now, seeing my friends’ pictures on facebook today makes reminds me of how colourful life was back home. I celebrate with them by liking the facebook prosts of my friends and family. Then I allocate time for Skype calls with Nepal, the US and Europe, wherever my friends are. We convey messages of good health, success, money and happiness from these remote locations, while my family is having a feast, lighting up crackers and performing rituals.
While I Skype with them after returning from my ACT classes, I can see how every house is lighted with different colourful lamps. In a few days they will perform the typical ritual of going to homes, playing and singing “bhailo” and “deusi” to wish for happiness in each home. But I am not there to sing along. Worshipping for the long life of our brothers and ourselves, crows and dogs are the strongest essence of this festival. I can look in on the rituals from afar through Skype. This is how I am celebrating my festival away from home.
We non-Dutch live a dual migrant’s life here. We are balancing everyday life here and back home, transcending a large time gap. Most importantly, we are getting used to it. It is true that we can get similar food and spices, company and friends here. But nothing can replace the real festivals.
Anyway, Happy Deepawali, Diwali to you all! Wish you a wonderful health, life, success and most importantly happiness!