HOW DIWALI HAS CHANGED IN 2016
In the words of Jane Austen, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that Indians are always in pursuit of something better.” We change everything in existence to suit us, even a wonderfully written quote by a brilliant author.
Modern India, with its ever updating software and seasonal collections, is obsessed with the brand NEW. Spoilt for choice, we are not ready to settle for the same old and seek to upgrade everything.
So why should our festivals be any different? In the recent years, urban India, the forever green activists, have decided to discard the crackers and fireworks and adopt a modern approach to everyone’s favourite festival.
DIPAVALI – THE OLD WAY
Keeping up with the trend of “90’s kids will remember”, let’s take a walk down the memory lane.
Gone are the days when distant relatives used to visit our home with the same sweet boxes that we got rid of, by gifting them to some other relative.
The days when cousins from every corner of the world came over and extra mattresses were fished out of trunks to accommodate them. But no one complained because the excitement of meeting our cousins after a year overshadowed the irritation of giving up our room for some aunt, whose name we could never remember.
The days when planning started weeks in advance and boxes and boxes of firecrackers were accumulated, just to make sure that we didn’t run out of crackers.
The days when we used to not-so-patiently wait for the pooja to get over so that we could finally go out and properly celebrate with our friends. The days when we used to tentatively light the bomb and run away, waiting for it to burst, all while arguing with our friends whether it was properly lit or not.
THE UPDATED DIWALI
Now Diwali is all about sending the same forwarded message to our entire WhatsApp contact list (Or a picture from the first page of Google images search). Now, it is about ditching the noisy, polluted city for a small vacation in an exotic location, where relatives can’t reach us even if they hire a private detective.
It is about going to expensive designer boutiques to buy clothes that we will probably never wear again and uploading selfies on Instagram and Facebook with #traditionalforever. Of Course, we wouldn’t be caught wearing something as uncool as a kurta the rest 364 days of the year. But since it is Diwali, the unofficial traditional day of the country, all is forgiven.
Now, Diwali is about the sophisticated card parties, where more than celebrations, networking takes place. It is about having a big plate of Indian sweets, which no one will touch. After all, no one wants to screw up their diet. Those sweets and snacks are just there for decoration. A souvenir from an era where Diwali was a whole different festival. An era we Indians might like talking about, with nostalgia, but have no interest in bringing back.
But under those expensive fairy lights, surrounded by waiters serving sweets that a nutritionist would have a heart attack just thinking about, we feel like something is missing. Because the truth is that every party is incomplete without good food.
Just like every other celebration and festival, Diwali is about mouth-watering food. THAT has not changed. We are holding on to those Indian sweets that no-one is having anymore because we feel like we don’t have a choice. But the truth is that there are better alternatives available.
Along with clothes, gadgets, and actors, we Indians have also started importing international flavours from all over the world and accepting them as our own. We should look at picking up snacks and food items from our daily lives and include them in festivities. These delicacies will not only make for delicious, exotic snacks but are sure to make your party the talk of the town.
Snacks like Cocoa Sesame Cookies, Thai Sriracha Cashews, Italian Balsamic Peanuts, Olive Tapenade Crisps, Piri Piri Popcorn, and Chocó Hazelnut Granola have become an indispensable part of our lives.
We have incorporated them into our daily lives; why not include them in our festivals?
Trust us! These tasty snacks will surely make your Diwali party the talk of the town!