Diwali has been celebrated in the sub-continent by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists for innumerable years, and is is an official holiday in several other countries too – Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mauritius, Myanmar, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Fiji, Singapore and Malaysia.
Deepawali or Diwali which means a row of lights has a deeper significance with the obliteration of darkness, and this significance can be rooted through Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism – where there are stories of good triumphing over evil and the attainment of enlightenment, which have symbolized the festival.
Sitting here in London, in the heart of multicultural Britain, Diwali, to me, signifies a global festival. It is a festival, which signifies what we stand for – that is diversity and plurality – with it’s deeper meaning and significance across religions and regions, and it is against monocultures.
This Diwali – my message is let us get together to create societies which respect and enjoy different cultures, because together the light shines brighter and as a unit we can be more prosperous than ever.