Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A simple gathering

Diwali yesterday wasn't as fun-filled as it is in India, i would know because i have spent loads of Diwalis here and it is nothing but fun,it begins from the morning when we go to the templeto playing with fire crackers, fireworks, sparklers etc, eating all the yummy stuff and no one can tell u to stop eating and not to mention spending the entire day with the entire family on my mum's side which can easily reach about 50( these consist of immediate family members, distant relatives and cousins are included yet...this happens durings weddings) all the presents and money and the blessings of my elders. Seriously Diwali in Singapore is nothing, at least for me, Diwali is about celebrating with my family( the 4 of us) and frens. In Singapore i have my friends and in India i have my relatives, which explains why i enjoy being at both countries, although i don't think i can stay for long-term in India. Besides the family, the food is a mojor problem. Today many Hindus are no longer Vegetarian which explains why many Indian Resaurants are meat/poultry based. In India, its Vege food galore and believe me when i say this, for those of you who tried the food in MJ when Komalas came down and thought it was WOW lipsmacking n all...its nothing compared to the stuff you get there, for every one item lets take samosas for example there are at least 9-10 diff types of it. It varys in Taste, filling, shape, size, colour and etc.( i am still not well versed with the indian cuisine, which makes my mum angry and forces me to start cooking with absolute boring stuff like chapati and daal.) Another thing is the holidays, for those who are not Hindus would not know that our New Year starts on the day after Diwali, so if its a week day on that day, we will have to wake up absolutely early to do our prayers and go to the temple, and after we are let of from school and work we will rush to go meet our relatives and friends. So where is the fun in Diwali and i believe that Diwali without fun is just another ordinary Singapore public holiday where everybody continues doing their normal routine without a break or change. Where as in India, since a majority are Hindus, their Public Holidays for Diwali is for about 2 weeks long( i am not suggesting that we have a 2 week long break becausue it is not possible, what is the percentage on hindus any way, the rest are just going to get bored) where familys like what mine is doing in India go on trips to diff states and places by hiring coaches( we are talking about 40 people here and this is a pretty common sight, huge familys going for outings during Diwali). My family right now is in Kulu Manali which is a hill station ( imagne Genting but 10 times more beautiful with cool air not the "cool air" in Genting) and will be reaching Delhi tomorrow for the opening of Akshardam. So my point here was that about the lack of places to go and hang out and enjoy with friends and family. I mean yes we can cross borders to go our to JB but how many of us have not been there, not done that? Come on all of us have been to JB a gazillion times( ok i am exaggerating for myself but it may be true for some Singaporeans who head done there every weekend.) Its not possible for us to fly to Phuket or Bangkok and come back in a day, actually come to think of it, it can be possible but u will never venture out of the Thai airport coz u will have to catch the next flight back to come back in the evening/night( aint know anything about the flight schedules), it would be fun in a weird way but definitely an expensive way of having fun, N please do not tell me budget airlines k, its still expensive, i would rather go watch 3 movies than do that.

So I do not think that other festivals may be as fun for the other races( i may be wrong, i accept that) as none of the festivals besides National Day have origins in Singapore. I mean i believe that Christmas in Singapore is a pretty big day when everyone comes together to celebrate no matter what race and religion, but i think for the rest of the hols its only the respective religions and races celelbrating it, its not the whole community. I mean Hari Raya would definitely be more fun in perhaps Dubai, Indonesia and Saudi etc becasue these places do have a huge proportion of Muslims, Chinese New year in China would be celebrated with great style and Christmas in UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zea would be a big thing as well. So its not really Singapore's fault or anything, its no one's fault, its just how it is. Thats it nothing more.

So yesterday, Steph, Denise, Sin Yi and I headed down to Jashan's place at about 4, started watching songs from Hindi movies (or Bollywood movies) before we started talking and before we knew it we went from one topic to another(afterall thats what grls do and enjoy doing when they meet up). I really do feel that after our chatting and all, i think it brought all of us much closer than what we were already were. Its great to have a Debate team of all grls, it makes bonding much easier and builds friendships that carrys on beyond the debating world. While chatting we finished about 3/4s of the food stuff in the container and i do not think we gained a single gram because we burnt it while laughing and talking...crazy explanation but it makes me feel good since i cant go to the gym thanks to my healing sprained ankle without the water retention swelling. Yippie, i hope i am better by next week so that i can go out freely, especially since my Oral Presentation finshes on the firs day it self....hahaha

P.S for those of you who have never seen what an Indian Temple looks like and its architecture, here are some pics. Go check out the Swaminaryan Temple in London, it won 2 Guiness world records , the first entry is for the largest Hindu stone Mandir in the Western hemisphere and the second for the largest Annakut displayed with 1,247 vegetarian items placed in front of the deities:, i think you will definitely be amazed and if you are lemme tell you something, the experience of seeing it before your eyes is definitely much better. The original Akshardham in Gandhinagar is absolutely beautiful with great architecture on Pink stone with its exhibitions and lush green landscape, I have never been to the one in London but i have been to many in India and here are some of the pics.

this domeabove is from the temple on the left

These pics are of the temple in Chicago

These are from India, the one below shows the main entrance called the Akshar Dwar with the main temple in the back and the one on the right shows the back of a temple.

What i have put up here is one of the few attractions India has...thus if you are able to and have the means in the future, try to visit India as it has a lot to offer.


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