How to Share a Taste of Diwali
Here are a few ways to enjoy Diwali this year and introduce your kiddos to this colorful tradition if they haven't already been.
Traditions and Celebrations
I decided to ask Shibani, one of my friends who has celebrated Diwali since she was a child, what it means to her and how we can partake.
Q: Ok, so we have known each other for well over a decade and I have heard about Diwali here and there from you. All I know is that sometimes you throw a mean party and make amazing food. Tell me a little bit more about what Diwali meant to you as a child, and what it means to you as an adult.
Shibani: Diwali is india’s most famous festival, commonly known as the Festival of Lights, or the happiest festival. It has its roots in the Hindu religion, but modern celebrations are largely secular. The 5 day festival is a celebration of good over evil, light over darkness, and love over hate. The celebration involves friends and family, there are a lot of parties, and everyone really dresses up (both themselves and their homes) for the occasion.
As an adult, I appreciate it as a way to introduce my friends to my culture and my traditions, and frankly, Diwali has some of the best traditions! Your readers are welcome to follow along with me on Instagram (www.instagram.com/bombaytaxiboutique) - I will be sharing daily traditions for the next 5 days!
Shibani: Halloween and Diwali often fall in close proximity to each other — dressing as an Indian person for Halloween is incredibly disrespectful (unless you ARE of Indian descent), but other than that, it is a fun holiday that is meant to be SHARED. So, if you have Indian friends, ask them about how they celebrate, and what the day means to them. If you don’t have Indian friends, you may want to try an Indian recipe (the New York Times Cooking section has some good ones), or buy some ready-to-assemble Indian food from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Light lots of candles and make it a really festive meal. It’s a great way to get kids to try a new cuisine, and who doesn’t love a celebration. Don’t forget dessert!
|Kiara Earrings in Moonstone + Green Onyx|
I think one of my favorite parts about being Indian is how much hospitality plays a role in our culture - it is generally a welcoming culture, and if you’re a visitor to India, you will be asked and encouraged to participate in all kinds of cultural festivities. I know more than one story of tourists gawking at Indian weddings, and them promptly being invited to join along! When an Indian person asks you to join them, we're not just doing it to be nice — we REALLY want you to participate and enjoy our culture!
Yep, it has taken me years to decently prepare traditional American food (I make a mean Spaghetti and Meatballs), so obviously I am uncomfortable tackling Indian food for fear of culinary disaster. Indian cooking has a myriad of various spices and flavors, and I would be totally lost trying to decipher what to use.
I wanted to give my kids a taste of Indian food, though, so looked to my friends at the zen of slow cooking who developed an Indian Dal spice blend designed for the slow cooker with premium spices. They have partnered with Peapod to create a Vegan Red Lentil Curry & Coconut dish that takes just 5 minutes of prep time. You seriously can't mess this up.
It includes naan, basmanti rice, pickled red onions, cilantro and all the ingredients to create a savory meal in the traditional Indian style.
I made this for my kids and I one night- Bryson took a taste and opted out but Charlotte gobbled a bowl with a piece of naan. Me? I thought the flavors were incredibly rich and almost addictive!
You can grab the spice blend alone on the zen site to make a variety of dishes, or pick it up at a local Whole Foods:
reviewed Siri Indian Restaurant in Wheeling.
Cheers to getting a taste of Diwali and joining in this celebration of life, light and all things good. Thank you to my dear friend Shibani for sharing her traditions, and being such an inspiration to #girlbosses everywhere.