FES­TI­VAL OF LIGHTS

New twists to cel­e­brat­ing Di­wali

The Mercury - - FRONT PAGE - Omesh­nie Naidoo

DI­WALI is not what it used to be. I hear this and agree.

In South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and more specif­i­cally Dur­ban (where you will likely find the largest pop­u­la­tion of In­di­ans out­side of In­dia) the cel­e­bra­tion, rooted in re­li­gion, has es­poused a new cul­tural con­text.

This year, Zulu King Good­will Zwelithini opened up his Non­goma palace to the fes­tiv­i­ties – a case in point that In­dia’s big­gest hol­i­day has been taken by the di­as­pora and made into a cross-cul­tural event – uni­ver­sally sym­bolic of light, unity and har­mony. A Dur­ban Di­wali has evolved over time, shed­ding its tropes and tri­umphantly emerg­ing as a cel­e­bra­tion of light over dark­ness for all.

A bindi (dot) on the fore­head of a woman of any na­tion­al­ity in our city is not un­com­mon.

The fash­ion and the food have been em­braced by all.

For too long Di­wali, or Deep­avali, made the news for abuse of fire­works but, in re­cent time, the fam­i­lies I know, have left be­hind the big bangs in favour of a few star lights for the kids.

And while we all want to look good on this day and eat well, I be­lieve a lot of the ex­cess has been left be­hind in favour of the op­por­tu­nity to rel­ish good times with loved ones. A spirit of generosity pre­vails. For our cen­tre­spread this week, we’ve cho­sen to em­brace the new ways in which we are do­ing things.

Fash­ion de­signer Haroun Han­srot braved the storm to bring us a regal but easy-to-wear cock­tail dress for our shoot.

He sug­gests re­work­ing tra­di­tional gar­ments to suit our cli­mate and life­style. “If you are go­ing to make or pur­chase an out­fit es­pe­cially for Di­wali, opt for fab­rics that evoke Indian ar­ti­san styles but look for con­tem­po­rary sil­hou­ettes. It’s East meets West.”

Make-up artist An­gela Wat­son of Make-up Your Mind sug­gested tak­ing the winged eye­liner trend up a notch with metal­lic or bronze glit­ter.

“A bit of cran­berry colour lippy and rosy cheeks fin­ish the look with the glam, glit­ter giv­ing you

the ideal look for a bhangra party.” She used multi-gel to hold the glit­ter in place.

Mean­while, Chan­tal Chetty at Gallery Life­style Decor, known for her fairy tale wed­dings and func­tions, sug­gests pulling out your pretty cut­lery and crock­ery to cre­ate a dis­play ta­ble of sweet and savoury treats for vis­i­tors to your home to en­joy. “Vary heights and cre­ate group­ings to add in­ter­est.”

She adds that heir­loom brass vases and trays can also be put to good use to cre­ate cen­tre­pieces that with a few fresh flow­ers can bring colour into the home.

She said vel­vet, satin and se­quin ta­ble clothes could all be po­ten­tial show stop­pers. Se­lect these in Di­wali colour rem­i­nis­cent of ran­joli (Indian art) pat­terns.

De­signer Saro­jini Mood­ley of Khyris says a sari is the se­cret.

“If you’re really look­ing for some­thing stun­ning to cre­ate a back­ground, a sari might just do the trick. It can be re­worked into a num­ber of items from drapes to ta­ble clothes, scat­ters and of course new cloth­ing.

“Many of my clients are ask­ing to have heav­ily worked old saris made into mod­ern jack­ets that can be worn over evening wear.”

PIC­TURE: SIBU­SISO NDLOVU

De­signer Saro­jini Mood­ley of on­line store Khyris dressed model Cher­alle in a sari with a beaded boarder and belt. www.shoppekhyris.com

Page one pic­ture and right: Pho­tog­ra­pher: Si­bonelo Ng­cobo De­signer: Haroun Han­srot Model: Sacha Hair: Fay Ab­dulla at Hoi Pol­loi Make-up: An­gela Wat­son of Make-up Your Mind

Chan­tal Chetty at Gallery Life­style Decor, known for her fairy tale wed­dings and func­tions, sug­gests pulling out your pretty cut­lery and crock­ery to cre­ate a dis­play ta­ble of sweet and savoury treats for vis­i­tors to your home to en­joy.

De­signer Saro­jini Mood­ley of on­line store Khyris dressed model Cher­alle.

Ran­goli is an art, ori­gin in In­dia in which pat­terns are cre­ated on the floor

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