“The whole fun of Diwali is people giving presents to each other and meeting. We couldn’t do that this year”
- Credit: Neil Hargreaves/Facebook
A father who grew up in Newport said he did not have the usual family reunion for this year’s Diwali.
Alistair Hargreaves celebrated the Indian festival of lights with his Gujarati wife, Tina and mixed race son, Theodore.
He said: “The whole fun of it is people giving presents to each other and meeting with their family. We couldn’t do that this year.”
The family was still eager to celebrate, so they put up bunting and lit candles and little lamps throughout the house.
They wore bright, new clothes and cleaned the house, as the day after Diwali is New Year’s Day. “It’s about a fresh start,” he said.
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They also created a Rangoli on the floor.
“We draw shapes with chalk, we get colours and fine sand, and then we pour the sand on to the colours and spread the whole thing out. It’s really hard to do it.
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“When it’s finished, it looks like paint.”
He added: “Like a lot of Indian things, food is very important. We don’t drink during Diwali. We have lots of sweets made of nuts.”
Alistair said Diwali is the biggest family celebration for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, and that different religions all come together for the same festival.
He said it is as important as Christmas is to Christians, but it is also similar to Easter, in that it does not have a set date across October and November.
He thinks it’s good having government figures such as Rishi Sunak, showcasing different cultures.
Alistair said: “It’s so good having different identities in the government, showing different cultures and different festivals at a very high level.”