Diwali: A chance for Fiji to proudly celebrate its diversity


In Fiji, where it is a public holiday (31 October), Diwali gives an opportunity for people of different faiths and communities to come together and live in a spirit of communal harmony.

Diwali, a Hindu festival, which signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair, involves followers of the religion decorating their homes with lights and setting off fireworks in celebration.

It is  celebrated in countries such as Fiji, Guyana, Pakistan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore and Sri Lanka. It is a big occasion in India and Nepal which have large Hindu populations.

In his Diwali message, Fiji’s prime minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama asked every Fijian to take time during the celebration and reflect on the source of strength as united citizens of this country.

“It always makes me proud that, year after year, our society has shown that our different faiths are a source of harmony, peace and togetherness.”

“As Fijians, we share in the joy of each other’s festivities and we treat our fellow Fijians with the utmost respect,” he said.

The Methodist Church in Fiji has extended its well wishes to all its fellow Fijians of the Hindu faith community

Methodist Church president Reverend Dr Tevita Banivanua said: “The fact that we live in a country, that since independence has not only acknowledged the different faith communities, but also celebrates together our diverse experiences and expressions of faith, is proof that Fiji, despite our many differences can be one nation.”

The people of Fiji celebrate Diwali with elaborate lighting and candle decorations. They exchange greetings, sweets and gifts of love.

Several schools also organise Diwali celebrations to help children understand its social, cultural and religious significance.

They have  singing, essay writing, quizzes, rangoli making, and Diwali greeting card designing competitions besides hosting talks in Hindi, English and Fijian languages.

Some schools carry out Lakshami Pooja  one of the the important rituals performed during the festival of Diwali.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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