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Jubilant spirit marks Indian lights festival

Indian festivals and legends asssociated with them are legion, but Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is exceptional even by these standards.

  05/11/2008 09:52

Usually, the different stories about a festival are variations of a core story, but the millions of Indians all over the world who celebrate the festival typically subscribe to their particular Diwali story based on which part of the country they hail from, or which religion they belong to.

So one can celebrate the Return of King Ram to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile, during which he kills the ten-headed evil King Ravana; the killing of Narakasura by Satyabhama, the consort of Lord Krishna; the observing of 21 days of severe austerities by Goddess Shakti; the birth of the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi; the defeat of God Indra by Krishna; the attaining of Nirvana by Lord Mahavira; or the release from prison of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Harbobind Ji.

For the Indian diaspora in Viet Nam, the choice is easy. They choose all of the above reasons to celebrate the victory of good over their inner demons, invoke prosperity peace and happiness for the whole of humanity through prayers, and generally revel in a festive time with their friends and well wishers from Viet Nam and other countries who form the expat community in the country.

In Ha Noi, Diwali is being celebrated at the American Club this Saturday, with a cultural extravaganza of music, dance, food and other entertainment organised by the Ha Noi chapter of the Indian Chamber of Commerce. Diwali has become a marked event in the cultural calendar of the capital city. This year marks the tenth year running that the festival is being celebrated here. 

(Source:  VNS)
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