Diwali festivities in UAE cuts across religious lines: Indian Consulate-General

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on November 12, 2020

(CGI Dubai/Twitter)

Consulate observed socially-distanced celebrations on Thursday.

Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, usually celebrated with pomp and splendor, is expected to be a largely low-key event this year.

However, despite the pandemic triggered restrictions, Indian communities from various religious backgrounds have come together to kick-start Diwali celebrations.

Festivities kicked off at the Consulate-General of India in Dubai on Thursday as religious leaders from various cultural backgrounds came together.

The Abu Dhabi Hindu temple BAPS Swami Brahmaviharidas, Mohamed Khomusi from the UAE Bohra community, Rev. Siju Cherian Philip, vicar from the Mar Thoma Church, Surender Singh Khandari from the Sikh Gurudwara, and Chandu Siroya representing the Jain community spoke about the relevance of celebrations amid tough times.

Omar Al Muthanna, CEO of the Community Development Authority was the chief guest at the event. He hailed the Indian communities contributions towards the development of the UAE.

The Consul General of India to Dubai Dr Aman Puri highlighted the importance of the Festival of Lights. He thanked the UAE leadership for their extraordinary support towards the Indian community. “I thank the UAE leadership for creating a festive environment this Diwali despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

He hailed the various reforms carried out by the Dubai Community Development Authority for bringing together people from so many cultural and religious backgrounds. “On this occasion, celebrations here in the UAE cut across religious lines,” he added.

As it is norm every year, homes in the Bur Dubai and Karama neighborhoods have been lit up with decorative lights this year as well. “Since people cannot visit each other or go out for celebrations, we notice a lot of people have taken the effort to decorate their homes. We have had excellent sales of Diwali decorative items this year,” said Kamal Vachani, Group Director Al Maya Group.

Bur Dubai Hindu Temple timings revised for Diwali

The Bur Dubai Gurudarbar Sindhi Temple timings have been tweaked for Diwali, said temple general manager Gopal Kokani.

“From 13 to 15 November, temple timings will be from morning 7.30am to 8.30am and evening 6.30pm to 7.30pm,” said Kokani.

Worshippers have been asked to strictly adhere to social distancing norms, and have been asked not to wait or gather outside the temple premises. “Masks must be worn at all times,” he said.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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