It’s time to celebrate Diwali.
Much to my family’s chagrin, I’m a great example of the Americanization of immigrant experiences, meaning that I don’t really know the history behind a lot of the religious and cultural experiences that my family participates in. My parents might see this a failure on their part in their passing on a great part of their culture and religion, but really the blame lies with TV.
What I’m saying is that television had a huge hand in raising me, through no fault of my parents. I just really liked watching TV. Due to poor representation of the Indian diaspora on TV, I learned a lot of nothing about brown people’s experiences.
That’s not entirely true.
Things I know about Diwali:
- We eat a lot of food.
- We light a lot of diyas (aka small clay pots with a wick in it).
- That may be cleansing? Spiritually?
- There’s a lot of food.
- If you whine enough, your family will bring you food to college, apartment or wherever within a 2 hour drive time. (This may be exclusive to my parents.)
- There is sharing of food with extended family.
Thankfully for every person part of the Indian diaspora, there is the single greatest episode of The Office ever which may be a slight (definite) exaggeration.
Things I learned about Diwali from The Office:
- It’s basically Indian Halloween.
- S’mores and Samosas are equally delicious, but gross if eating one expecting the other.
- We don’t reference Along Came Polly enough.
- It’s not Christmas.
- Zombies are not invited.
- Saris are optional. Two headed costumes are a MUST.
- It’s important to look your best.
- Eat everything, even the not-s’mores.
Also I just learned that this (very popular) Bollywood song takes place during Diwali, so that’s a thing.
Happy Diwali, everyone! Eat all the mithai!