Deepavali – How We Celebrate The Festival Of Lights

Murukku and multi-cultural family reunions are just some of the things we're looking forward to this Deepavali.

By Sean Yee        21 October 2022

On 24 October, our city lit up even further with golden oil lamps, vibrant lanterns, and pure joy. It is said that the name for Deepavali – the Festival of Lights – came about as it takes place on the darkest night of Kartik in the Hindu calendar. This radiant reprieve celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, and of unwavering hope against adversity.

For this commemorative festival of hope, we chat with some friends who celebrate, on their fondest memories and heartfelt hopes for the holiday.


Sasha Nair (centre) and L’kesh Nair (left)

“This year’s celebration is a bit unprecedented given that our little prince has finally embarked into a new milestone in his life! Having just enlisted in the army, it’s strange to see my little brother without his head of famously luscious hair! With that said, this Deepavali best immortalises our family’s inherent connections, and serves as a reminder that regardless of our milestones, we are united by an unconditional love for one another. No matter the obstacles that await us, my family can beat the odds if we are together every Deepavali. Of course, the food and the jubilance of the occasion are always very welcomed!” – Sasha Nair, graduate and her newly enlisted brother, REC L’kesh Nair  


Poona Kanan (bottom right)

“We have an interesting celebration because my mother is Chinese, and my dad is Indian.

With that comes an enlightening intermingling of cultures, and we get to commemorate this festival with both our Chinese and Indian relatives and friends, especially those who we see probably once every year. I look forward to watching my husband gorge on crispy murukku as I feast on my mum’s one-of-a-kind biryani and achar that are just out of this world!” – Poona Kanan, SAFRA Customer Service Officer


Sushama’s dad (second from right) at a gathering with friends



“My dad isn’t the most expressive of parents. However, Deepavali is one of the few occasions where you see him glow up when presented with a buffet of traditional treats and delicious food! I think that despite his stoic appearance, he deeply enjoys the moments when family can just be family, and this beautiful holiday is an excellent opportunity for us to put aside our differences and just focus on being together. Just having family around, of whom we perhaps see once or twice annually, coming together to engage in lively conversation like we’ve never been apart – it’s just amazingly illuminating! We are just so excited to see our loved ones again after years of a raging pandemic.”  Sushama Chakraborty, university student


Happy Deepavali to all who celebrate! May all of you stay safe, and that the lights of the festival provide you the illumination your life needs to enjoy perpetual success, health, and happiness!

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Main photo: Courtesy of Poona Kanan