Indian Religious Events

Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, after an exile of fourteen long years, after defeating Ravana, the Demon king. Diwali, thus, represents the conquest of good over evil and light over darkness. It is believed that when Lord Rama returned from exile the people decorated the entire village with diyas and greeted them.Decorations and lightings are few of the major highlights of Diwali. Residential and office buildings are adorned in the glory of lights. Special functions taking place all around is witnessed which accentuate the festivity in the air.

This celebration would be very special as it was the only time where I celebrated Diwali away from house. There are has been many since then and all of them were equally good. Other one which I remember is the one which I had four years back with my friends. My parents had allowed me to invite all my friends to home as they were planning to celebrate it in a grand style.

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In western India, it is celebrated in the honour of the King Bali who was immensely popular with his subjects for his generosity. However, king Bali had become arrogant and conceited. His generosity was put to test by Lord Vishnu who appeared in the disguise of a dwarf and asked him for a piece of land equal to his three steps. When Bali granted his wish, Lord Vishnu took the form of a super giant person, and with his two steps covered Bali’s entire kingdom. With his third step he pushed Bali to the under land. Since then, his people celebrated his arrival on this day.

Diwali or the festival of lights, generally falls in the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu calendar, in other words in the month of October/November as per Gregorian calendar. The festivities of Deepavali last for five consecutive days i.e. two days before the Diwali festival that is known as Dhanteras & Narak Chaturdashi and Govardhan Puja & Bhai Duj respectively.

Firecrackers:The light and sound of firecrackers bursting in the sky are a treat for everybody. Children particularly enjoy the festival of Diwali and look forward to bursting firecrackers. Religiously, people believe that the sounds and fumes of firecrackers scare the demons away. The popular firecrackers include firepots, ground wheels, sparklers, snakes and bombs.

Sweets:The sweetness of sweets celebrates the end of the rule of evil and the rule of prosperity and happiness in the world. Sweets are prepared in homes to offer to the goddess of wealth. These sweets include Gulab Jamun, Rasgulla, Ghujia, Laddoos, Kheer and burfies. Sweets are exchanged with friends and families with well wishes for prosperity and wealth are made.
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Internship in Bali

Seeds of Hope intern Jutta, Asia Exchange intern Jana and Bali Internships interns Jonas and Laura tell about their experiences of working as interns in Bali.

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