Only here and no where else in the world can you find the huge difference in not only dialects but entire language. The cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity is something that is celebrated through out the country almost on a daily basis.
If you think that you know enough of this land by knowing what Holi and Diwali means let me tell you are not even close to the reality. Those two are just two of the many more festivals that we have here. And the best part is getting to have lots of national holidays.
One can find people living in pristine locations, holding tightly on to traditions while fast paced cities with busy people having no time for rituals and festivities on a frequent basis. So those villages become cultural hubs.
We too have those super traditional, sometimes little rigid, people living in far away places who do not miss a single festival and even to my surprise have their own festivals. Like extra ones just for them. Our whole culture is about feasting and fasting but regularly because extremism never works for the good so why put a date on it, do it weekly or even for months on end.
Most of these festivals have their roots in changing seasons, moving planets, changing society, familial events oh and the ever so prevalent religion. And we do not shy away from celebrating each other’s festivals. Honestly that is when I have seen humanity at its best and the real vision of, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – a Sanskrit phrase meaning “the world is one family”, is in front of my eyes.
Imagine someone being brought up surrounded by love and with the concept of being different and being equal. The simplicity that people share at this point is on another level because it is not about mine or yours and it is all about ours.
Very obviously I do celebrate Holi, Diwali and all the related ones and it might sound strange to you but I have the same amount of enthusiasm for Eid and Christmas. And I do not celebrate in the name of having fun but I like to know the very reason behind celebration because that is how you can really savour it or you end up feeling like an uninvited plus one to some friend of friend’s party.
When I was in college I would take sweets and share with my Muslim friend and with the same heart we waited for her to bring us some of the most amazing sweet dishes they would make on Mithi Eid (lit. translation Sweet Eid). There are more of such stories like legit celebrating Christmas in college. Perplexed?
I and my friends, we all wore some form of red and white on X’mas eve, bunked our classes, found a quiet place, sat, chatted and sang carols. One of the friend was made the Santa, she was supposed to get the gifts. I was the interchange of arranging the Dundee and my most favourite plum cake. While another of us made amazing cards with personal messages, which was a surprise and none of us is even Christian.
Man we had so much fun! Now I miss my college friends and School was fun as well. So only here and any place where a human heart beats humanity comes naturally even when EVERYONE is different.