My Diwali greeting is a little early this year, as I’m using this New Year to say goodbye to this blog (and to start a new online project). Over the past year, this space on the internet has been somewhat neglected as I’ve been concentrating on my own writing and other paid work. Just the other day, mom.me published my latest reflection about parenting on this holiday. An excerpt:
My 4-year-old daughter, as is to be expected, has given much more thought to her Halloween costume (a caped pink rabbit) and the treats she will accumulate, than her snazzy new Diwali lengha and her grandmother’s homemade laddoos and barfis, her favorite South Asian desserts.
This year, Halloween is the day after Lakshmi Puja, the third day of Diwali, the five-day Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. My family considers this day the most auspicious of the year. We believe that Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, visits our home. On this night of a new moon—the last night of the Hindu year—total darkness sets in the night sky.
As my daughter tries on her costume yet again, I reach for picture books and search Pinterest for age-appropriate Diwali crafts and recipes. I jot down recipes for salt dough to shape diyas, or tiny lamps. I find instructions on turning reams of construction paper into paper garlands. I Google rangoli, traditional floor art, and buy food coloring on Amazon. The irony that I turn to the tools of modern, privileged-class American parenting to explain my own religious holiday to my child is not lost on me.
As always: may the season illuminate new dreams, fresh hopes, uncharted paths, and different perspectives. See you around!