Monday, October 19, 2009

Diwali In Mauritius...

Dashra had passed and we did not even know what happened on this. Anyways Diwali was about to come and this time we could see some decoration on road side, so it was supposed to be livelier.

As I always say surprises are there on each occasion in Mauritius then how Diwali could be an exception. This time surprise was cleaning of houses rather say washing. Oh man… people were washing their houses like any thing from top to bottom. Thanks to GOD they could not wash foundation… it was not limited to houses only vehicle or every possible thing we can think of. I was afraid; we would get some water after Diwali. After this they put on the lights to the house, but this was limited to few houses only not like washing ceremony.

On the day of Diwali people distribute cake to relatives, friends and neighbors. By the way don’t stress much for cake; it is nothing but different sweets made at home. It was delicious, no doubt about it. This distribution goes for a day or two. As soon as started getting a little dark people lighted oil lamps (Diya/Deepak). Here people use a little bigger size of lamps that we do in India. I am not very much sure, did people do LAKSHMI PUJAN in the evening as around 7:00PM every body was out of the houses and were lighting lamps or doing fire work. Yes, people did fire work also though it was not much but still it was nice. Good environmental care. One good thing was the fire crackers available here were kind of enough safe to use.

Apart form all these activity, few of the municipalities had organized some different shows like musical nights, light show and all. Since we were invited to our friend Riyad’s place, he came to pick us up as we were not sure of bus services during that time. We met his family and had a nice dinner with them. After dinner we went out to see decoration on road side and then to a light show which was organized by Curepipe municipality. It was a wonderful light show and we enjoyed it for some 20 minutes and then it started raining and we came back to home. It was 12:00 AM by the time we were home.

Overall it was a nice celebration on Diwali, though this was our first Diwali out of India, but still we could feel homely.

Durga Puja (Navratri) and Dashra...

Ramadan was running and Durga Puja was approaching and was going to start just one day before EID. Nishu had a plan to keep fast for all days and we thought to go to temple to offer evening prayers. But our mail concern was whether the temples will remain open by that time in evening. Luckily 3 /4 days before the Druga Puja, we were passing by a temple and the president of the management committee of the temple (a person known to us) met and updated us about the puja. It was a kind of surprise to know that temple we remain open till quite late during the days of Durga Puja, so we were kind of assured that at least we could go to the temple in the evening.

On the first day of Durga Puja, we tried to reach the temple a bit early to be on safer side, still can not trust that Mauritius can remain open till late. We were in temple by 6:45PM and to add to our surprise we was a proper arrangement for people to come and offer prayers. Temple was fully decorated with lights and a musical group was singing Bhajans there. A nice sitting arrangement was also done for the people to sit and enjoy the Bhajans. Quite a few people were there to offer their prayers and then enjoy Bhajans. During these days one saint was also there in temple giving Pravachans.

This was nice to see so many people offering prayer and temple was nicely decorated. Now we were completely assured that we would be able to come to temple during the 9 days of Durga Puja. We managed to go to the temple during the days of Durga Puja. We used to offer our prayers and sat there for some time to enjoy Bhajans. We never had a chance to listen to that saint as it used to start a bit late. Anyway was not that interested too.

Since surprises are a by default gifts (at least for us) in Mauritius, two more surprises were also waiting for us. When the day of Navmi, we went to temple as usual we found it closed, means there was nobody to offer prayers on that day. On the next day Vijay Dashmi was there and as usual people were busy in their daily activity and there was a kind of no sign of the festival. There was no firework, no fair nothing at all. Since office was open that day we did puja early and went to our offices… This time it was good at least we could go to temple for most of the days… Now Diwali is approaching, let’s see how it will be.