Indians celebrate Diwali festival in Windhoek

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Sharon Kavhu

Windhoek - Happy faces, women glittering in their accessorised wrapped garments like sari, salwaar kameez, and churidaar while men couldn’t be more outstanding in their ethnic sherwani, kurta, angarkha, jama and dhoti.

The warm atmosphere that saturated the event stimulated contagious smiles from toddlers to adults. Indeed, it was a happy day for the Indian community in Namibia as they celebrated the Diwali festival.

The festival, which is believed to be a ‘festival of lights’ that symbolises the victory of good over evil in the Hindu culture, is commemorated on annually.  It is celebrated to honour Lord Ramachandra, the incarnation of the Indian lord Vishnu, who is believed to have returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons of king Ravanna.

In Namibia, the commemorations were commemorated as a community for the first time last week at the Indian High Commission in Windhoek.

The celebrations were characterised by cultural fashion exhibitions, artistic acts, solo dance performances, music renditions and poetry.

The fashion shows were done by children, both boys and girls, who paraded with different designs of Indian traditional and modern outfits. Several youths participated in the poetry sessions where they did poems on the essence of the Diwali festival.

All ages participated during the dance sessions where a group of female dancers consisting of mothers, duets of both children and youth and solo acts, kept the audience captivated. All the acts were centred on different cultures found in different regions of India.

In an interview, Indian High Commissioner to Namibia,  Prashant Agrawal, described the Diwali festival as an event celebrated differently in different cultures with the essence of bringing light into people’s lives.

“We call it the festival of light and these days it is actually being celebrated across the world.  Essentially, this festival celebrates the victory of Indian god Ram over the evil demons of King Ravanna. The idea is to bring lights in everybody’s life and happiness in their souls. It brings a lot of cheer to people.

“We are very happy to celebrate it at a larger scale through the initiative of India Namibia Association (INA) which was formed by a very small Indian community in Namibia. The association was formed to further the relations between Namibia and India.

“Therefore, it is the people from this association who are hosting this commemoration.  Before the formation of the association, Indians in Namibia would commemorate the Diwali festival as individual families,” said Agrawal.

The event was also attended by the president of INA, Professor Shyam Singh, and other members of the association.

 

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