flamesD I V A L Iflames
G R E E T I N G S
from
The Sharma Family
and
The People of The Republic of
deyaTRINIDAD & TOBAGOdeya

D e e p a v a l i
in Sanskrit means
deyadeyadeyadeyadeya
rows of lighted lamps,
is one of the most important Hindu festivals.
It falls on the Amavasya of the month of Kartik every year in the Hindu calender.
By the English or Western Calendar
this festival generally occurs over a period that covers
the last week of October to the first half of the month of November.
Yet, even today, some still ask .....
DIVALI DAY - WHY A PUBLIC HOLIDAY?

Our National Divali

Divali Message to Remember

Teresa Mataa ki Deya

DIVALI DAY IN THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO IS A NATIONAL HOLIDAY SINCE 1966.
Each Year Divali Holiday differ in Trinidad & Tobago.
The date is annouced by the Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha of T and T Inc.

Celebrations start at least two weeks before Divali Day and continues for more than a week, after. There are celebration venues scattered throughout the island but the more popular sites are Divali Nagaar in Chaguanas and the Sanatan Dharma Mahasabha headquarters at St. Augustine.

tulsidas
DIVALI NAGAR 1997 DIVALI celebrations, formerly opened on October 21, was dedicated to Sant Goswami Tulsidas, author of the RamcharitaMansa, whose 500th birthday was observed on August 10, 1997. A full size statue of Tulsidass was installed at the site, where several mud huts, statues have been erected and East Indian utensils etc. representing their life style, displayed along with religious and historical paintings.
DON'T MISS OUT

DIVALI DAY - WHY A PUBLIC HOLIDAY?


By Harry Sharma
Sunday November 6, 1988
SUNDAY EXPRESS DIVALI SUPPLEMENT

    PERHAPS it is academic in our twenty-second anniversary of celebrating Divali as a public holiday to question the significance of the proclamation in a land overburdened with public holidays.

    Yet one cannot escape the saddened state of our young nation that is today threatened by racial and religious discord at a time when our "Mother" is reeking under its worst economic pressure.

    "Mother Trinidad & Tobago" ... the Land of Our Birth ... had seen better days as it grew from strength to strength, nurtured her children every step of the way, removing every racial and religious barrier to enshrine in our National Anthem:

    Forged from the love of liberty,
    In the fires of hope and prayer
    With boundless faith in our destiny,
    We solemnly declare

    Side by side we stand,
    Islands of the blue Caribbean Sea,
    This OUR NATIVE LAND,
    We pledge Our Lives to Thee.

    Here every creed and race find an equal place,
    And may God Bless our Nation,
    Here every creed and race find an equal place,
    And may God Bless our Nation,

It was in 1966, while I lay in bed in Ward 9 at the General Hospital with a "heart attack" that Divali Day was proclaimed a public holiday.And I lit a lone deyadeya next to my bed, where, joined by several others, hands clasped together we chanted:

    OM ASATO MAA, SAD GAMAYA,
    OM TAMASO MAA, JYOTIR GHAMAYA,
    OM MYRITYOR MAA, AMRITAM GAMAYA,
    OM SHANTI, OM SHANTI, OM SHANTI

And while the proclamation gave reality and meaning to our Constitution and National Anthem at that time, it was not until the following year --- some months after the EXPRESS was born -- that an added significance to Divali became evident.

The objective of the proclamation is best emphasised in the words of the late Dr. Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, when he said:

      "Whatever the origin of Divali, it has over the centuries of its celebrations, gathered onto itself a plethora of association of the greatest value and significance to Trinidad and Tobago."

    He emphasised:
      "Let the lights of Divali burn brightly throught Trinidad and Tobago as a symbol of peace and harmony in our multi-racial and multi-religious community; let them also be a symbol of our national determination to align ourselves with the Forces of Light against the Forces of Darkness, and may their illumination, over the length and breadth of this land of ours, be an occasion of national rejoicing and national re-dedication to the pursuit of peace, knowledge, wisdom and virtue."

Today, more than ever, Dr Williams' Divali prayer to the nation needs to be adhered to, for the nation -- not without but with us --is in troubled waters.

And proud and arrogant as some may feel, the answer lies not only in the words of Dr. Williams, but in one of the earliest significance of Divali itself.

Hindu mythology claims that similar to our own state, Indra, King of the Gods and Virocana, King of the Demons were with their troops engaged in battle for supremacy for centuries, until Brahma, the Creator, suggested that they, together "churn the ocean of milk."

And it was in the process of churning of the ocean of milk that Lakshmi, the Goddess of Light, poised on the lotus flower, among other things, emerged with the nectar of eternal life in her hand.

Whatever be the origin, today we herald Divali '88 celebrations which culminate on November 9, a public holiday, with myriads of lights illuminating every home in our nation.

Wishes for a Happy Divali mark this auspicious occasion when each member of our ulti-racial and multi-religious community could once again, firm their resolution:

    To share in the trials and tribulations and to work together towards a national goal by better understanding one another.

Public Holiday or not, Divali, symbolising a positive approach to better enlightenment, can be made meaningful as we go onward:

    Let the bells chime, the conch shells echo and the drums beat, and all mingle into a single rhythmic sound;
    Let the sound go forth, from this day on, into generations and resound on this Divali Day,
    For here a people from diverse lands parted by seas have come;
    And here a people of many shades, with traditions and culture so pure;
    Have but little left from the trials and tribulations they each, in their own way, endure.
    Like in the beginning, by sweat and blood enslaved to custome and traditions so strange,
    Sacrificing their very own, they have carved, a Nation out of many
    to dwell ... together ... in Unity.

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