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A happy Diwali to you

Fred Wesley
Thursday, October 19, 2017

It is that time of the year again when Hindus around the country join millions of the faithful around the globe to celebrate the festival of lights.

Diwali is special for thousands of Fijians.

It is part of our lives.

It cuts through every imaginary line separating religious beliefs in our nation.

No one can doubt the fact that we do live in a country that is truly multiracial.

There are imaginary walls that highlight ethnicity, gender and religion. They do not stop us though from enjoying many things together as Fijians.

We celebrate the various religious events in our own little ways.

There is a deep appreciation of the importance of such events. There is a lot of meaning and value attached to our religious events.

In our own little ways, we acknowledge the important place these events have in our lives, our family and the lives of our neighbours.

Surely that is something that makes us unique.

Let us face it, we are different because we value one another's company. We appreciate one another even if we sometimes do not realise this, or understand it.

For instance, as a nation, we share the pain and sorrow when our national rugby sevens team loses and we embrace the joy of victory.

We stood tall and proud when the national side won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio in August last year, and we united and celebrated when they touched down at Nadi International Airport with their prizes.

Today we celebrate Diwali. It is a day, and night, to celebrate arguably one of the most important festivals of the year.

Diwali, among other things, is about families celebrating and performing traditional activities together at home.

It is about light and darkness, with emphasis placed on the triumph of good over evil.

Perhaps Diwali is a time to come together and work towards a brighter future.

Diwali is about putting aside differences and celebrating the festival with family, friends and our neighbours.

It is also an opportunity to reflect on our lives and work to become better individuals.

Considering the expected heavy usage of lights and fireworks tonight, let us be mindful that accidents and sometimes fatalities can occur because people are unaware of safety hazards.

Let us take precautions tonight and plan to be safe.

Let us be proactive and responsible, and enjoy today. We wish you all a happy Diwali.

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