Celebrating Diwali with a difference
By Priya Narayan
During my recent storytelling sessions with children, the topic of Diwali was touched upon. Immediately twins Annika and Aurvi Thakur aged 9-year-old exclaimed,”Oh! We hate crackers, they make us feel awful, with smoke and bad smell. It also makes people more prone to asthmatic attack.”
This led to an interesting discussion on how we can celebrate Diwali in an environment-friendly way.
- The first step is to completely refrain from buying any kind of crackers. A YouTube trip to Sivakasi cracker manufacturing factory will reveal the plight of umpteen minor children struggling to earn their livelihood by toiling there. Exploring further you will realize the toxic effects of the chemicals on those children as well as those who use them.
- Shreemi Jha, a resident of Mumbai states, “For the last one year my family has become environmentally conscious. We have not only limited the use of plastic but also stopped buying fancy lights for Diwali as they cause too much of heat and contribute to pollution.” Lighting beautiful earthen diyas inside and outside home not only holds significance of Goddess Lakshmi entering our house but also ensures clean Diwali.
- Decorate the house with eco-friendly torans and other knick-knacks. Material such as cotton wool and jute along with organic fabric colour can be weaved into beautiful artefacts. Some online portals and shops too promote such handicraft. Schools for differently abled children periodically hold exhibitions of such handicrafts made by these children. Buying these artefacts will not only boost the morale of the children but also does its bit for the environment.
- When making rangolis at home you can use different coloured flowers and non-toxic safe colours. This adds more beauty and grace to the house. Involving children in this activity keeps them engaged and allows their creativity to flow freely.
- During the season many people rush to buy farsan and mithai from the shop. Always ensure the quality of what you buy as generally adulteration is at peak during this time. The best option would be to make them at home thus adding your personal touch to it.
- It is an ideal occasion to visit family and friends and spend quality time with them. In this world of the digital age, we have lost the value of human touch and its numerous benefits. So let’s switch from the “online” mode to the “offline” mode this festive season.
- In a hustle-bustle of everyday life, we tend to take for granted whatever we have in our life. This is the perfect opportunity for us to inculcate the habit of donating gifts such as books, crayons, eatables etc. to the lesser privileged by our children by taking them to orphanages and old age homes. Like-minded individuals can also conduct storytelling session, music and dance performance or even an art-based workshop. This will light up a special glow on their face which is more valuable than any other gift.
- One more thing which comes to the mind is the habit of going to the temple and seeking God’s blessings as positive vibrations can be felt by going to the place of worship.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and clean Diwali. Enjoy yourself and do keep an account on your calories (pun intended)!
Contributor: Priya Narayan
About the writer:
Priya Narayan is a professional writer, storyteller and child development specialist.
Priya holds a Post Graduate degree in Child Development from SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai. She is also a trained Yoga Teacher from the Yoga Institute, Mumbai and a certified storyteller from The Secret Passages. After being associated with leading Educational Institutions as a Teacher, Trainer and Centre Head, she took a break post motherhood. She decided to pursue her childhood passion of writing and has so far written for Newsletters and children’s magazine. She also writes her blog www.niceparenting.wordpress.com
Priya resides in Mumbai with her family and runs her own storytelling class under the name Whistling Bubbles. She further wants to spread her wings and take storytelling and writing to different places so as to inspire others and spread the message of hope, belief and love. She is also pursuing Hindustani classical vocal and keyboard. She loves music, writing poems, theatre and has spiritual interest too. You can connect with Priya at email@example.com.