It's a Festive Occasion for All, But Traditions are Unique

City Express speaks to people from across communities on how they celebrate Diwali

Published: 10th November 2015 05:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2015 05:30 AM   |  A+A-

QUEEN'S ROAD: The Diwali mood has set in and traditional eats are brewing in kitchens across the city. Each community has its own Diwali delicacies.

Bangaloreans of varied origins share with City Express how they will celebrate this year’s festival.

While Mangaloreans might be following the tradition of making dishes karanji, chakli, shankarpali, ghatiya and laddus, Preeti Ram Mohan, an employee at The Princeton Review and who hails from the same region, will be doing it a little differently.

“Instead of all these different dishes, I have made a variety of laddus -- sesame seeds, gram flour, coconut. I will also make barfi.” Diwali for her will start with oiling her body and taking a hot water bath.

“Apart from lighting diya, performing puja to God and drawing a rangoli, we will also make adde, a sweet dish of soaked rice, jaggery and coconut and distribute it to our neighbours,” she says. Preeti and her family will also burst crackers around 11 am, followed by lighting diyas in the evening and another round of crackers at night.

Alka Anil Bokil, a Maharashtrian, is also prepared with her laddus, karanji, chakli and shankarpali. “Our Diwali celebrations began on Vasubaras Day, Sunday. We worship the cow and calf and feed them puran poli (obbattu),” she says.

Maharashtrians also use the opportunity to boost creativity in children. They are asked to design a fort out of mud. It is then decorated with small idols of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and any other things that they would like to add. “On Narak Chaturdashi we make a rangoli in front of our homes. It will be followed by lighting diyas. We will take bath with utana, a powder that will leave its fragrance on our body,” she says. Women from the family will also perform aarti to the male members, she adds.

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Alka, along with her friends and family, will perform Lakshmi Puja the next day. “Diwali Padva, celebrated the day after that, the wife performs puja to her husband and acknowledges it with a gift,” she says. “On Bhau Beej, after Padva, the sister performs an aarti to her brother.”

Diwali for people from northern Karnataka starts with the puja of vessels with water and of gold on Dhanteras. “Some people also buy gold as it is an auspicious day,” says Parvati Hatpakki, a retired nurse.

Here too women perform puja to men in the family on Narak Chaturdashi. “We will also have the snacks and sweets, prepared in advance for the festival,” she says.

Lakshmi Puja does not just worshiping Goddess Lakshmi. Parvati and her family will invite married women from neighbourhood and perform puja to them and feed them with special lunch of obbattu, huggi (sweet pongal) and other dishes. It will be followed by bursting crackers. Govardhan puja will be performed on the third day and cow dung will be used to make an idol of Pandava, adds Parvati.

Bibekjyoti Deroy, who hails from Tripura, says that he will use the opportunity to meet his friends and family members in the city. “I will exchange sweets, but won’t  burst crackers as it harms animals physically and mentally,” he says.

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