Posted on 25/10/2011

Diwali – Festival of Lights

Today in Fiji, like many other Indian communities around the world, we are celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Fiji has a strong Indian community which comprises approximately 38% of the entire Fijian population, (2007 census, 313,798 people) and since their arrival in Fiji in 1879, the Indian community has kept alive the spirit of their homeland with festivals and traditions such as this.

Diwali is the festival of the attainment of nirvana by Mahariva, one of the great heroes of the Indian culture, back in 537BC. Celebrated by Sikhs, Hindus and Jains, the festival is celebrated over a five day period according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. Each day features a celebration of one of the principal stories associated with the festival which tell a story of the triumph of various Indian figures over demons and the revelation of a new leader for the kingdom. On the fifth day of the festival family members are invited to celebrate in homes as the legend also tells.

Diwali, which is a contraction of Deepavali, translates into “row of lamps’ and features the lighting of small clay lamps full of oils to triumph good over evil. Families and friends share sweets and snacks and a lot of entertaining is done in the home. Whilst the story of Dewali and the manner of celebration differs across India’s vast regions, the essence remains the same, which is to Rejoice in Inner Light or the Underlying Reality of All Things.

On Vomo it’s business as usual in the resort with plenty of guests enjoying their holiday. Tonight we will be serving a modern Indian banquet featuring dishes fused together with Indian, Fijian and contemporary flavours. Some of the selections are as follows –

Spiced dahl soup with cumin coriander crisp bread
Crispy potato and eggplant bhaji with tamarind chutney

North Indian spiced beef curry with jasmine rice, papadums, roti and chutneys
Tamarind ginger and coconut cream bone-in chicken curry with jasmine rice, papadums, roti and chutneys

Caramelised pineapple disc with puff pastry twist and boysenberry ice cream
Gulab Jamun in rose water syrup served with toasted pistachios and vanilla ice cream

If you are celebrating Diwali, Vomo wishes you a safe and happy holiday time.

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