Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Diwali

















A Times of India photo

Sorry I have not been able to post daily. The above photo appeared in Times of India. Diwali or Deepawali is the Festival of Lights. People hang these decorative lanterns outside their houses at the doors and in the balconies. They come in many shapes and sizes. At night they are lit up with an oil lamp or an electric bulb. Now-a-days, we get decorative lanterns from China as well.

Of the two big lanterns, the one on the right has a swastika in the middle, flanked by the Sanskrit letter "Om". The swastika is an ancient and universally positive symbol, although due to its subversion by, and association with the Nazis, it has become an objectionable symbol in the West. The swastika is usually drawn in red and can be seen on many buildings in India.

For those who like to see similarities between cultures, it is interesting to note the similarity to Christianity. In Hindu philosophy, "Om" is considered the primordial sound at the beginning of the universe. ("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." -John 1:1). Some say that another similarity is that the Swastika is like a cross.

"Let us remember .... that India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all." -Will Durant. The Case for India

8 comments:

FĂ©nix (Bostonscapes DP) said...

Very interesting post and links. I'm going to find out about Diwali now :).

Annie said...

Beautiful!

Jules said...

Very fascinating as usual!!!
Thanks for your really interesting comment on my blog which i have only just managed to get into - someone keeps cutting up the optic cable in Port Moresby for some unknown reason - this is the fourth time this month - they think it is a rival phone company!!! Gee I love living here some times!!!! I have been without a phone for 24 hours!!! Living in a third-world country has its benefits and frustrations.
I would love to read that book so quotes from it would be most appreciated!!!

Nihal said...

Tesekkurler (English: Thank you) for helping my horizons broaden up, very interesting about Mother India (Turkish: Hindistan). Do you know we have got some similar shops like the one placed in your post? At Grand Bazaar. For one moment, I thought if it's a spot from G/Bazaar:)

zakscloset said...

it's like our christmas lighting decoration! without the swastika of course...

Nihal said...

On Diwali and in the coming year, Happy Diwali to you! As my Indian friends are celebrating Diwali today in saree costumes, so I thought I shall talk some about Diwali on my today's posting.
PS Will be duly replying back your questions on comments section, visit again OK?
In Turkish we say like ''Mutlu Diwali'' *enjoy*

Gudl said...

This is a very nice and colorful photo. My husband brought me a few fabrics from India and I like them all!

Neva said...

What an interesting blog. I did not know that about the swastika or "om".