‘Glitter, glitter, glitter everywhere’ as Indians in Dubai celebrate Diwali | Tech Rasta

Indian families in Dubai are full of Diwali cheer as they prepare to celebrate the joyous holiday in style.

Homes and balconies across the emirate are decorated with strings of lights and flowers in honor of the five-day festival of lights, which begins on Monday.

Traditional food and rangoli — designs on the floor made of dry rice and flour — are busily prepared for an event that has family and friendship at its heart.

Most Indian schools in Dubai will be closed on Monday and Tuesday to allow students and parents to take advantage of the event.

Time to relax

Pragati Grover getting ready for Diwali celebrations at her home in Dubai.  Khushnum Bhandari / The National

Dr Anil Grover, an internist at Prime Hospital in Dubai, said this year was special because loved ones could celebrate together, and the restrictions imposed due to Covid-19 were now greatly reduced.

“We have arranged joint meetings for Diwali and my brother was able to come down from the US to celebrate with us,” said Dr Grover.

“The celebrations started early for us on Thursday. We will cook rangoli at home and my mother is here from India and she has made sweets for us like pins.”

Pinni is an Indian dessert made from desi ghee, wheat flour, butter and almonds.

“A few years ago there were no celebrations and gatherings. We only had prayers at home and decorated our houses with lights, but now the masks have been removed and we can meet and celebrate,” he said.

Dr Grover and his wife, Dr Pragati Grover, will work during the day on Monday and wear traditional clothes, hold a prayer ceremony at home and then celebrate with friends in the evening.

‘Just like being in India’

Dr Pragati Grover, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Prime Medical Centre, said she enjoyed driving around the city to see houses decorated with string lights.

“It feels like being in India,” he said.

“Two years ago the celebrations were muted because of Covid.

“I think Diwali in Dubai is like what we used to celebrate in India or even better.”

Natasha Vaswani, an Indian resident in Dubai and owner of Divas Boutique in Meena Bazaar, said the area was decorated with festivities.

“It’s all glitz, glitter and glitter everywhere,” said Ms Vaswani.

On Monday, the family will wear traditional Indian clothes and hold a prayer ceremony at their workplace.

Snehal Gagwani, an Indian resident in Dubai, decorated her house with flowers and lights for Diwali.  Photo: Snehal Gagwani

In the evening, up to 15 family members will dress in their best Indian clothes and celebrate by going out for dinner.

“My five-year-old son looks forward to going around the building distributing sweets to all his friends on Diwali,” she said.

Praveen Shetty, chairman of Fortune Group of Hotels, said: “This year, we will miss our children, as they are away for higher education but then it is a festival that calls for celebration. We have lit up our house with beautiful lights and rangoli made by my wife.

“On Monday, we will start the day with a traditional puja (prayer) and then meet the family.

“Celebrations aren’t complete without bonding with loved ones over a hearty meal so we’re looking forward to a great time with our friends and neighbors.

“I make sure to visit all our hotels and exchange greetings. All our hotels are lit up for the occasion. We do puja with our team members and share a special celebratory meal.

Snehal Gagwani, an Indian resident who works in the travel industry in Dubai, said she had made a special effort to decorate her home this year because it was her son Vir’s first Diwali.

Mother decorated her house with marigold flowers and put diyas and lamps.

“My balcony is lit up with fairy lights. Also, we have an area in the living room where we will be doing puja to Goddess Lakshmi.

“We will have Lakshmi puja on Monday and that takes place at sunset because it is believed that the goddess enters your home at sunset.”

He said that on Monday the family would start the day with prayer and then welcome family members to their home.

On Saturday, they also bought gold to celebrate the first day of Diwali.

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Updated: October 23, 2022, 12:55 PM

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