Dubai workers' Diwali: If I don't work here, my family can't celebrate back home

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Dubai workers Diwali: If I dont work here, my family cant celebrate back home

A humble 'Diwali' celebration for workers in Dubai


Ankita Chaturvedi

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Published: Sun 30 Oct 2016, 6:31 PM

Last updated: Sun 30 Oct 2016, 11:15 PM

So what if they are away from their families or home, they follow every tradition - from cleaning their rooms to cooking sweets and savouries.  And they take half a day off from work, or work on shorter shifts for the day. The labour accommodation at Sonapur, Dubai, was decorated with lights, lamps and candles, on Sunday, to mark Diwali, the festival of lights.
Prasad Mahadev has been celebrating Diwali for the past eight years in Dubai. Every year he decorates his room, lights lamps in the evening, prepares sweet vermicelli with milk and invites his friends for a get-together. Recalling the celebrations back home in Telangana, he said: "We obviously miss our family on this joyful day, but we have understood one thing: We are each other's family. Now we all enjoy the day together."
Suresh Kumar, who works as a store-keeper in a survey company in Dubai, came here six years ago from Rajasthan. Suresh visits his family once a year, during Diwali, but this time he couldn't make it. He is blessed to be in Dubai, but prefers to be in India for the festival, he said. "I miss the hustle and bustle of Rajasthan, fire crackers on the street and children playing. I also miss being with family, praying and eating with them, cracking jokes and visiting, wearing the kurta and pyajamas. (tradtional outfit)."
But they are all smiling, and standing up for each other in tough times. Everyone does something special for the other to enrich the Diwali experience. Small gifts are exchanged as a token of friendship and love.
Saleem Badnatti cooked special vegetable biryani for his Hindu friends and also helped them with the special Diwali decorations.
"I took half day off to be with my friends, it's their day so I wanted to do something good for them," said Badnatti. "I am a good cook so I prepared special biryani for them and got some sweets from the market. I love bursting crackers, and so will do that also. I am going to enjoy the most today".
Simple yet soulful arrangements make the festive occasion a memorable one for the blue collar workers. Life will be back to normal today, so they decide to make the best of what they have. After prayers and dinner ,they will all sit together and chat. "We will be listening to music and will talk to each other. We hardly get time to connect like this," said A Pandey.

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