November 01, 2019
For me it is Diwali here, a five-day festival, schools are closed and so are some offices and banks. A festival for which people prepare by cleaning, undertake renovations and decorating their homes and businesses. The places are brilliantly illuminated and people wear the finest clothes, light oil lamps, prepare the finest sweets for family feasts and worship the goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. As I was growing up, all these and the meaning did not matter. All I knew was it was a time to burst crackers all night long and I enjoyed it so very much. No one in town could sleep. On this trip, I looked forward to such a celebration all night long but was pleasantly surprised only to hear spurts of sounds now and then at nights. Instead it has become a time when families and friend go on vacation, and party in hotels. A great and meaningful festival to ward off evil that symbolizes victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. To all of you, it is Halloween. Again, a time to ward off evil, but most people dress up like the evil one, go trick or treating, and collect candies. A fun time indeed. But its meaning has certainly changed over the years. Instituted by Gregory III by designating November 1 as a time to honor all the saints, the eve before was known as “All Hallows Eve.” It seems like we are honoring the evil one. Whatever the festivities, may we remain faithful and grateful to the God who took human form and lifted us from darkness to the true light and may we, in some small measure, reflect that light in our life and way of living.
Shalom, Shalom!
Franklin David
“See the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and think the unthinkable.”