Cel­e­brat­ing the fes­ti­val of lights

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Family -

Deepavali is an im­por­tant re­li­gious fes­ti­val in In­dia that is mainly cel­e­brated by Hin­dus.

It is known as the Fes­ti­val of Lights, a cel­e­bra­tion of the tri­umph of good over evil. There are sev­eral Deepavali cus­toms.

A Hindu would get up early in the morn­ing to take an oil bath, sym­bolic of the cleans­ing of one’s past mis­deeds.

They would then say prayers with their fam­ily at home and even wor­ship in the tem­ple.

Ko­lam (or ran­goli), beau­ti­ful in­tri­cate floor de­signs made with dyed rice and colour­ful pow­ders, dec­o­rate homes.

Deepavali is also, of course, a day of feast­ing. Fam­ily and friends gather for de­li­cious food such as tho­sai, string hop­pers, chicken curry, kurma, and many oth­ers.

Re­cently, we asked Starchild read­ers to send in let­ters on the topic: Deepavali. Let’s hear what they have to say.

Nine-year-old Dora Chang

Zhi En shares that Deepavali to her means un­lim­ited snacks of mu­ruku, crisps and peanuts at her par­ents’ In­dian friends’ homes.

“Some of them even serve us cha­p­ati and tho­sai. The In­dian sweets are a bit too sweet for me, butIlove mu­ruku.”

“A ko­lam is cre­ated for Di­wali, and is thought to bring pros­per­ity to the home,” Tanesh­wari A/P Kovel­lan, 10, says.

Shreyan Chakraburtty, 11, and Saiesha Chakraburtty, 5, both say that they de­signed an in­tri­cate Ben­gali kan­tha. “We call it Pat­tern of Na­ture. We wanted to in­cor­po­rate or­ganic shapes into our art­work.”

Melissa Mae Ganesh, seven, says, “Deepavali cel­e­brates good over evil. Hin­dus cel­e­brate with lights, ko­lams, food and plenty of friends. I like mu­ruku and ghee balls.”

“On Deepavali morn­ing, we take an oil bath, af­ter which we wear new clothes,” says seven-year-old Inesh Dhayal. “We then go to the tem­ple to pray. My favourite food on Deepavali is putu mayam, mu­ruku and laddu. We light many oil lamps in the house for the Fes­ti­val of Lights.”

“Dur­ing the fes­ti­val of lights, let’s wish each other Happy Deepavali. Let us live in peace and har­mony be­cause Deepavali sym­bol­ises the vic­tory of light over dark­ness and good over evil. Happy Deepavali,” says Sarah Celina, nine.

ITEM: Good nutri­tion is im­por­tant for ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially grow­ing kids! Eat­ing healthily – that means no junk food, sug­ary foods, fatty foods, high­c­hole­strol foods, deep-fried foods and fizzy drinks – is ben­e­fi­cial for you in the long run. Lunchtime at the school can­teen is the one of the best places to start. What kind of healthy food or snack does your school can­teen serve or do you think it should serve? De­scribe the food. Don’t for­get to send us a draw­ing too!

All let­ters must in­clude your full name, age (open to chil­dren aged 12 and be­low), gen­der, e-mail, phone num­ber and ad­dress. Please write your name be­hind the draw­ing and the topic, Healthy Food For My School Can­teen, on the en­ve­lope. All let­ters must reach us by Oct 27. Send your let­ters to:

Starchild, c/o Star2

Star Me­dia Group Bhd Me­nara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11 46350 Pe­tal­ing Jaya, Selangor You can also e-mail your con­tri­bu­tions to star2@thes­tar.com.my. Please put “STARCHILD” in the sub­ject line of your e-mail. Scanned draw­ings should be in jpeg for­mat, with a res­o­lu­tion of 200 dpi.

Dora Chang Zhi, 9

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