Nation Current Affairs 22 Oct 2016 Singaporean Deepaval ...

Singaporean Deepavali should inspire change among us

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Oct 22, 2016, 7:37 am IST
Updated Oct 22, 2016, 7:57 am IST
The neighbourhood in Singapore wears a festive look with locals and government decking up the place with lights.
The entrance to Little India lit up with intricately designed lights to welcome the festival of Deepavali.
 The entrance to Little India lit up with intricately designed lights to welcome the festival of Deepavali.

Chennai: While the morbid count of mortalities from firecracker mishaps has begun, the latest being in Coimbatore on Friday, the Singaporeans are showing how Deepavali can be celebrated with true gaiety sans any such avoidable tragedies. As the government has rightly banned the bursting of firecrackers, the Hindu families are content going through the ‘ritual’ of lighting ‘mattappus’—colourful sparklers and matches that do not emanate noise—during the festival of lights.

And unlike the uncivil display of brute firepower by the revelers by bursting of the high-decibel crackers, even on roads here in India—more so in Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu—the Singapore Tamils have focused on dressing up, not just themselves in silks and jewels, but also the entire neighbourhood in beautiful lights, festoons and paintings to celebrate Deepavali.

 

“Every year, we deck up Little India, the street where you will find everything associated with Indians, during Deepavali, which is a very important festival for us Hindus. And this year, the celebrations far exceeded expectations”, beamed Manju Balakrishnan, a busy TV producer in Singapore.

She said the beautification is done by LISHA (Little India shopkeepers association) and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). “And this year, we are pleasantly surprised seeing the LTA, the Land Transport Authority, decorating the entire Little India rail station with Deepavali artwork. The stunning work both in the station and also within the trains makes us minorities shine with pride. This is truly touching”, she said.

 

Wonder why the ‘worshipful’ mayor of Chennai and the babus of the Rippon Buildings or those running the highly lucrative Indian Railways just next door, do not think up of such ways to deck up Chennai during the festival of lights. And wonder why the people do not indulge in such peacefully pleasant methods of celebrating Deepavali instead of splurging money on dangerous crackers that pollute the environment, hurt the ear drums and even cause fatal mishaps.

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