Intercultural exchange at the HZI

HZI colleagues their families and friends celebrate the Diwali Festival of Lights at the HZI

09.11.2015

Candles and lamps play a central role at the Diwali Festival of Lights.

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important celebrations in the Indian culture. It has a similar status as Christmas for Christians. It always begins on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartik. Because this month is connected with the moon cycle, the start of the multi-day festival varies every year. 2015 it lasts from the 10 to 15 November. Hindus, Jains and Sikhs around the world celebrate Diwali during this time.

Nearly one billion Hindus live in India. At the HZI there are many Indian, Nepalese and Bangladeshi employees for whom the festival is of great importance. For this reason the Diwali Festival will take place again at the HZI. This year it is the fourth time we celebrate Diwali. All employees, their families and friends are invited to celebrate Diwali with our Indian colleagues. In previous years, the festival was already very well attended and also this year all 170 tickets have been sold in advance.  It starts on 13 November at 6pm.

The organisers Sripriya Murthy and Vinay Pawar, are also looking forward to the festival. “As winter is soon approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate in the warmth of lights and with loved ones. As the saying goes, the joy doubles when it is shared. It is always fun to share our culture with someone who is new to it,” says Murthy. The response in the last years was consistently positive. “Everyone who attended the party said they were thrilled by the cultural program and the delicious food,” Pawar says.

Since Hinduism is a decentralized religion, there are different rituals and customs within the community. But there is one thing that is common among all celebrations: It is the celebration of the victory of light over darkness. Therefore candles and lamps play a central role in the celebrations. Besides that there are also festive decorations, tasty food and music. But a very special highlight is the traditional Indian dance. “If not for the delicious food, you have to at least come to watch the dance. This year we have nine international colleagues who will be dancing with us to Indian music,” says Murthy.