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Absorbing history elevates festive spirit

Bright lights and lamps decorating streets. Fireworks blasting, illuminating the night sky. Sweets and gifts distributed to family and friends. Songs of praise to God, echoing throughout homes.

What does this mean?

Diwali is here!

The founding of this famous, lavishly celebrated Festival dates back thousands of years.

Diwali, translated literally as ‘The Festival of Lights,’ celebrates the triumph of good over evil. The festival has a deep, absorbing history behind its existence.

King Dasaratha, ruler of the Kingdom of Ayodhya in North India, reluctantly orders his first-born son Lord Rama to live in forest for 14 years at the behest of his wife Kaikeyi.

Accompanied by his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, he enters life in exile, forfeiting the pleasures of palace.

Sita is abducted by demon king Ravana, who wants to marry her.

The Epic ‘Ramayana’ tells how Lord Rama faced a number of hardships to get Sita back in his life, and how Ravana was vanquished in a historic battle.

Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama with Sita and Lakshman to Ayodhya and his coronation as the King.

Huge celebration

Diwali is celebrated in Auckland at a much bigger level than what it was a few years ago.

Auckland City Council plays a big part in promoting Diwali.

In fact Aucklanders have a wide choice of attending festivals held at various places during October and November.

Hundreds of people visit these carnivals to enjoy Indian culture and cuisine, the most popular among which are stage performances and food stalls.

Radio Tarana has contributed hugely in promoting this grand festival.

Stage performances bring out local talents, along with performers arriving from India, specially to showcase Indian culture. There is a different theme every year.

The lights of Diwali symbolise happiness and new beginnings.

As a child, I have faced numerous issues, and have had to stay strong.

I can relate to Lord Rama’s critical situation, and so can all people facing tough times.

Lord Rama was a man of tradition, courage, determination, and focus.

New Zealand has been my home for the past nine years. I live in Auckland with my parents and my younger brother Aman.

Positive start

Diwali is one of my favourite festivals, and I love celebrating it with my family. This Festival inspires me and hence I celebrate Diwali religiously every year. I consider it as a celebration of righteousness over sin, and a start to positivity, opportunities, and happiness.

I love writing, literature, and books and Science is one of my passions.

I also love baking, playing car games, and listening to music. I love spending time with my family. I have been a programme presenter on Radio Tarana with my own show for children.

I am very optimistic about life, and believe that commitment and relentless pursuit can make anything happen. My future career plans involve becoming a doctor, writer or teacher. My backup career is that of a radio presenter.

I wish all Indian Newslink readers Happy Diwali followed by prosperity and good health.

Thirteen-year-old Muskan Devta is increasingly gaining attention in New Zealand for her proficiency in the spoken and written word. Our first impression of her appeared in Indian Newslink September 1, 2005 issue. We described her in our March 1, 2006 edition as ‘a special child with a special talent.’ That statement is becoming a reality, with her forthcoming autobiography called, ‘I dream.’ We will run excerpts from her book in an ensuing edition.

Photo Caption: Rama and Ravana in the battlefield 2. Sea of humanity at Auckland Diwali

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