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Editorial: Diwali, A Day To Celebrate Diversity, Unity And Purpose

Fijians all over the country will join their Hindu brothers and sisters celebrate Deepavali or Diwali. It is the festival of lights, celebrated by the Hindu community throughout the world.
07 Nov 2018 12:33
Editorial: Diwali, A Day To Celebrate Diversity, Unity And Purpose

Fijians all over the country will join their Hindu brothers and sisters celebrate Deepavali or Diwali.

It is the festival of lights, celebrated by the Hindu community throughout the world.

Like Eid and Christmas, the occasion is marked by family get-togethers and the exchanges of greetings, gifts and sweets.

It’s an occasion to eat good food, exchange goodwill and celebrate the simple joys of life. 

A Hindu priest said: “Diwali is much more than a mere celebration; what the festival really stands for is a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill and a recognition of the simple joys of life.

“There is also a personal element to it that requires all of us to bring light to those areas of our lives and of the lives of those in society that are in darkness, to remove ignorance and greed and to reject hatred and violence.”

He adds: “This is why the simple `lamp’ that will be lit today in many households ought to remind us that no matter how limited our means are, we should make every effort to make our world a brighter place by illuminating the lives of others.”

As we celebrate, let us remember to stress safety.

This will mean ensuring that we cause less pollution, of air and noise.

Safety is paramount.

Those using crackers must do so with discretion, common sense and a healthy respect for others.

Steer clear of bursting firecrackers on the roads.

Pedestrians are at peril, especially at night when most crackers go off, often literally at the feet of unsuspecting pedestrians.

At times, they have led to tragic consequences, resulting in serious injuries.

Those lighting fireworks need to be cautious because wrongly lit fireworks have flown into homes, too, and caused burns to people and property.

In his Diwali message Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said: “Diwali is a celebration of victory: The victory of good over evil.

“That spiritual victory is one that speaks to every Fijian; as well all strive to walk a better, higher path in our daily lives, replacing anger with patience, selfishness with gratitude, and divisiveness with peace, camaraderie and understanding.

“Even in those tragic times of our history when Fijians were pitted against one another, divided along ethnic and religious lines, Diwali has always served as a bridge that linked Fijian communities to one another in kindred celebration.

“Those moments of happiness we shared together, even in the darkest of times, gave us all a glimpse into the remarkable potential of a united, inclusive Fiji.”

Let us celebrate this Diwali, as the Prime Minister said “with the spirit of openness and togetherness that defines the Fijian character”.

May the Festival of Lights bring lots of joy, peace and prosperity to you and your family.

Have a great and a happy Diwali.

MAIKA BOLATIKI

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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