Photo feature: Diaspora celebrates Diwali across the globe

Diwali was celebrated by Indian Diaspora across the globe with fervor and tradition. The photo feature showcases the festival of lights through images

Photo feature: Diaspora celebrates Diwali across the globe
All decked up for Diwali celebration at Virginia in USA. Photograph: Manorama Rani

The festival of Diwali was celebrated with fervor and tradition across globe by Indian diaspora now that it has attained an international recognition much like Chinese New Year, world knows Diwali as the festival of light. Indians abroad clad in new attire and distributed sweets and savories among friends and relatives to celebrate and share the joy of Diwali.

Indian American women from left to right- Priti Gupta, Neelu, Ritu Khajuria, Rakhi Singh, Poonam Sharma, Manisha Gupta, Charu Goal and Reena Sharma, having a get together during Diwali celebration in Los Angeles, California, USA.
 Diwali celebration at Dubai. Video by: Rekha Saklani
 Dubai born, Vivan Saklani clad in traditional attire to perform Laxmi puja in Dubai.

"Lighting of the house and bursting a few sparklers is part of the ritual. Crackers that make sound have been largely replaced by more and more interesting sparklers- possibly a sign that your celebration shouldn’t become a nuisance for the neighborhood; especially if it’s a multi- cultural one," said Manisha, wife of Ravi Thakur, Infosys vice president & portfolio head, Greater Atlanta Area.

Infosys vice president and portfolio head, Ravi Thakur and Manisha celebrating Diwali at their home in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Neha Chaudhary and Saral Shah at their beautiful house in New Jersey, USA. Neha works with Verizon and Saral Shah with Select Portfolio Services (a Credit Suisse company) 
Three generations of Indian American sisters Neha and Bhavna Chaudhary with mother Sarita and grandmother Meena Jha, hailing from Bihar and settled in New Jersey, USA

"I for one, find this a great opportunity to have my father, my wife’s mother, my daughters, their husbands and most important grand son with us on this occasion. Being from Bihar, my mother-in-law makes it a point to make “thecua” (a flour sugar sweet) and my wife will surely make shakarpara," said Binod Choudhary,  senior vice president. Infosys BPM.

Indian siblings who migrated to America in 70s, economist and yoga expert, Dhananjay Kumar, Manorama Rani (Rtd. World Bank) and Sid Vikram, financial consultant, during family get together on the occasion of Diwali in Virginia, USA
Indians celebrating Diwali at Virginia, USA on 4 Nov 2021. Video: Manorama Rani

"We really feel very happy and excited on festivals. In the USA there are our Indian community groups celebrating Indian festivals with Rangoli, sweets and traditional clothes. Even though My kids are born in Los Angeles they enjoy doing Puja and Aarti with us. We do have friends get together on Diwali but I still miss my family back home. I think the difference between celebrating Diwali here and back home is that miss busting fire works. Also I miss the small vendors on the streets of India selling diyas," said Rakhi Singh, wife of Anil Singh, head of technology at Veritas Investments, Inc. San Francisco.

Rakhi Singh an Indian American remebers her childhood Diwali celebration in Patna, 8000 miles from Los Angeles, California, USA.
Indian expats family Rohit Naik, technical manager-MediaTek Hsinchu -Taiwan, with wife Deepa Naiks software engineer and children in traditional attire on the occasion of Diwali in Taiwan

"It was a great experience to celebrate Diwali here at Taiwan. My office also celebrated Diwali and so was the teachers in my Son's school. The teacher also asked my son to share the celebration pictures with her. Same for my company HR. It was indeed a great experience for us to see all these local people joining us in celebrating this wonderful Indian festival," said Rohit Naik, technical manager-MediaTek Hsinchu -Taiwan.

Diwali celebration at the office of MediaTek Hsinchu -Taiwan.
Indian expat Bibha Singh who teaches in Indian school Wadi Kabir International, Muscat, Oman. Photograph: Amritya Singh

"For expats, it also is an occasion to instill connection with our traditions and values among our children. Me and my wife do the rituals starting from cleaning the house, to sweet preparation, to buying a new set of Kurta or, the dhanteras shopping. Setting up decorative lights surely helps in setting up the mood in advance, but Diya lighting on Diwali surely completes the full experience. We typically start the evening with Puja, then followed by visit to a couple of friends, or receiving friends," said Saurabh Singh, design lead at Petroleum Development Oman.

Indian students clad in traditional attire in Muscat, Oman during Diwali celebration. Photograph: Bibha Singh
Decorated residences of Indian expats during Diwali celebration at Bur Dubai area on 4 Nov 2021. Video: Rekha Saklani
Get together on the occasion of Diwali in Dubai. Photograph: Rajiv Ranjan Rizvi

"Diwali is my favourite Indian festival and specially since I stay abroad and married to a foreigner I try and make it as authentic as possible.
So, as this year Diwali was on a working day I started my day as any other usual working day. However, also decided to log out on time to have a small celebration  in the evening. As the houses here have smoke detectors, we cannot light diyas everywhere and so a few days before Deepawali my husband helped me in decorating the house with battery led lights," said Shivalika De Cata — technical program manager, Capital one. UK.

An Indian couple celebrating Diwali at Notinghamshire, United Kingdom. Gonzalo De Cata — technical lead, Cognizant and Shivalika De Cata — technical program manager, Capital one.

"I explained the reason behind the celebrations to my husband as a quick revision to the Ram-Sita story. We'd a few Indian friends coming over to celebrate together this year, which was great and fun. We sat together to had our lovely vegetarian Indian food. As Diwali seems incomplete without lighting some crackers and luckily I managed to get some from an Indian store in the city this year which we lit after dinner. And That's how we celebrated the festival of lights while being thousands of miles away from home." De Cata added.

Indian Americans Ashwin Raghavan and Bhavna lighting fire crackers to celebrate Diwali in New Jersey, USA. Ashwin works with Sequoua consulting and Bhavna works with Infosys.

Designed and Compiled by: Rajeev Bhatt