Diwali is all about colors, clothes and cuisines. Youngsters wait for this time of the year to give their wardrobe an overhaul, to enjoy the lip smacking food and of course, for the celebrations that it brings. Maybe such things change the entire identity of Diwali, but in spite of modern aspects of the festival, the essence of Diwali remains the same. It is certain the youth have not forgotten how important this festival is in our country. Diwali still brings happiness, enjoyment and will always manage to capture the hearts of the young individuals.
By Yashodhara Roy
Diwali, the festival of lights, traditionally, is not only an important festival for the Hindus, but also for the Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. Any Indian would picture Diwali to be the time of the year when houses are decorated, lamps are lit, lots of sweet and other delicious foods are prepared, everyone buys new clothes and, of course, the sound and colors of fireworks fills the air. The children in the family know they are about to receive huge amounts of presents from relatives.
It is Diwali!!
Shiva Sriram, passed out from Mushtifund Higher Secondary, currently studying in Venkateshwara College in Delhi, says, “I only burst crackers… and have fun with friends.”
Esha Nadkarni, FYBA student of St. Xaviers College, states, “It always starts off with traditional customs the elders in house perform, like puja and aarti. Then all relatives get to together and celebrate.”
Sonia Fernandes, a second year student of St. Xaviers, very cheerfully says, “I go wishing my Hindu neighbors! Sit around with friends and family, eat a lot of sweets and maybe burst a few crackers.”
Utkarsh Pai, who passed out from Vasantrao Dhempe Higher secondary, currently studying in Belgaum, adds, “Diwali means ‘Narkasur’ time!”
The best way to celebrate...
This time of the year the entire country flourishes with great enthusiasm and gaiety. Most youths would celebrate it the way it has been traditionally celebrated for years.
Esha Nadkarni says, “We all stay in nuclear families, so Diwali should be the time when the whole family comes together and celebrates the festival together.”
Rini Thomas, currently studying in St. Xaviers Mumbai thinks, “Party with friends and family, wearing colorful ethnic wear, eat lots of sweet and chaat! Decorate homes with lights! And just go and burst as many crackers as possible!”
Traditional ways of celebrations are still popular among the youth. Instead of dressing up like every westernized person, they choose to wear Indian outfits and are proud to celebrate the festival in the ritualized way. Though there are those like Jyoti Ray, who trade traditional wear for comfort, “Jeans are just more comfortable to wear and move about in,” she pipes.
There will be so many, who would help their mothers in the kitchen, and play with their young siblings and cousins. Today the youth are greatly responsible for getting persons from different cultures and religions together to celebrate Diwali.
Traditions are no bar
True, some teenagers today would choose to spend time with friends rather than sit for a puja, like Utkarsh Pai states. However, those who are still under the control of their parents, like school students, will not be given as much freedom as their college going siblings, will still be told what to wear and what to eat and how to celebrate Diwali, though sometimes the older ones too have restrictions.
Twelve-year-old Priya Nair, adds that her elder sister is allowed to go out with her friends after the main customs, while she has to stay at home and entertain younger cousins and family friends.
Aarti Naik says, “If given the chance I would prefer to hang out with my friends rather than sit at home for puja.”
Sneha Choudhury, who passed out From Kendra Vidyala Bambolim, and is currently in Delhi, answers diplomatically, “I will probably sit for the puja and slip out and party with friends.”
All the blah about customs!!!
There is no denying that traditions may no longer be so restricting, but the fact remains that they have not disappeared – just evolved. At this age on their life the youth want to have fun and enjoy Diwali as a holiday season with the rituals, prayers and customs holding less meaning for them.
These days the fun and enjoyment does not only stop at home. There will be Diwali parties held where there will be a lot of dancing, but to the tunes of a DJ, rather than dancing to popular film songs with relatives.
Manohar Sharma says, “I will just meet up my friends, roam around and go to different parties and drink.”
Jhanvi Kamat thinks that going out with friends and having lots of food and fun is the best way to celebrate the festival.
Maybe such things change the entire identity of Diwali, but in spite of modern aspects of the festival the essence of Diwali is remains the same. It is certain the youth have not forgotten how important this festival is in our country. Diwali still brings happiness, enjoyment and will always manage to capture the hearts of the young individuals.