I don’t say that other religions don’t really celebrate their festivals well but then Hindus have many festivals we used to celebrate in a grand manner and for all the other religions its only one or two festivals around the year that they celebrate in a grand manner in the way we do …. so for Hindus there are so many festivals all around the year like once we get one in every one or two months.  – Tenali

When our informants spoke about celebrating Diwali in India, each and every person spoke of the “crackers” (fireworks). Diwali, popularly known as the festival of lights is the celebration of good over evil. It is the celebration when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after his defeat of the demon Ravana and is one of the most popular festivals in India, celebrated by people of all faiths.

In India the festival is a time for families to gather, eat together, indulge on sweets and set off crackers. Homes are lit up by burning candles and Indians show off their new clothing, a common purchase for the festival.

Most of the students discussed how they did not really celebrate Diwali here in the United States because they are not with their friends and family back home. Nalika said that here in the United States the celebration of Diwali is “totally different.” Due to responsibilities for school and work many informants were not able to participate in any Diwali celebrations this year. Many who did said that the event was different, rather than a family event in India it is a cultural event here in the United States. The Diwali and Eid event put on by the Indian Student Association and the South Asia Muncie Association was described by many as a cultural performance.

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