A festival of cultural values
The Hindu communities of Malaga came together in the Plaza La Nogalera in Torremolinos on Tuesday to welcome the Diwali Festival, a celebration that serves as a link between cultures and values.
The Diwali festival, also known as the festival of lights, is one of the major festivals of Hinduism and it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.
The Indian Association of Malaga organised the festival and hundreds of people enjoyed Bollywood music and Indian dance demonstrations. Visitors were invited to sample traditional Indian cuisine, the aroma of which added a hint of authenticity to the proceedings.
The event was organised to raise money for the Hindu temple in Benalmádena Costa, and the local community, many in tradition colourful costumes, came together in mass to enjoy a celebration that is observed by Hindus all over the world.
The women were dressed in silk saris of every colour and design imaginable. These were complimented with gold bangles, beads and cashmere scarves, while the men looked quite regal in their long sherwani coats, embroidered with silver and gold.
Several dance troupes performed classical and folk routines, their twirling bodies creating a kaleidoscope of colour, and a performance by several young children received a rousing reception from proud parents and spectators.
José Ortiz, Mayor of Torremolinos, who was keen to demonstrate his dancing skills, attended the festival, along with several members of the town council, who also joined in the fun.
The Diwali festival is a time to celebrate with family and friends and it is a night that coincides with the darkest, new moon of the Hindu calendar.
Sonia Tharani, member of the local Hindu community, and choreographer of the Bollywood Dancers, told SURin English, “Our aim is to expand our culture and make everyone aware of our traditions; this is a good way to bring our community together.”
This was the first time the Diwali festival had been held in Torremolinos and the organisers hope it will become a major event for the ever-increasing number of Hindus that reside in the area.
The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, and on Diwali night people dress up in new clothes, light lamps and candles, and participate in puja (prayers) to Lakshmi - the goddess of fertility and prosperity.
The festival has its roots in an ancient legend that concerns a handsome warrior called Rama, who is said to have rescued Sita, a beautiful Indian princess who had been captured and imprisoned by ferocious demons.source surinenglish