Guyana is a nation of 6 peoples, all with a history and, out of that history, comes a significant number of people from the Hindu tradition in East India. A few weeks ago we spent a morning in a colleague’s Mandir on the East Coast – blog to follow, but, just like Christmas, Diwali is a major event for Hindus.
Leading up to it, they must prepare which means cleaning the whole house, including curtains etc etc and be ready for the big Festival of Light. The night before, there is a big parade where cars and lorries, decorated in lights pass through the town and along the sea wall and make their way to LBI (La Bonne Intention) further down the coast. The next day is spent in the Mandir in the morning giving praise and thanks to the Goddess and then there are parties and lights on the houses. Traditionally they are lit with Dias (don’t know if that’s the right spelling) but these days electricity has taken over. We bought some of the tiny earthenware pots to put our nightlights for IKEA in – a clash of cultures.
We were given Diwali cards and traditional food – what a privilege to be here to share the customs of others so far away!