by Ms. Matani


As many of us have seen, stereotypes and misunderstandings about religions are very common.  One that I’ve personally experienced has to do with Hindus “worshiping” cows.  Did you ever wonder why they do that?  Well many people would be surprised to find out that they actually don’t.  In their attempt to understand a foreign phenomenon, people who have studied Hinduism have miserably failed in interpreting it. So, when Mr. Lakhaney asked me to write about the Hindu holiday, Diwali, I happily agreed.  Diwali is a holiday that is celebrated near the month of November.  It signifies different things to different people but I’ll let you know about the story I was told by my father.  Many years ago, there was a king named Rama who, because of his father’s wish and honor, left his kingdom and went into the forest for fourteen years.  His brother and his wife, Sita, followed him.  While they were in the forest, a demon named Ravana kidnapped Sita.  Rama fought a long and hard battle against Ravana and eventually defeated the ruthless dictator.  The victorious Rama then returned to the capital of his Kingdom, Ayodhya.  When he entered the city, he received a warm greeting with “deyas,” tiny little candles in tiny clay bowls.  The holiday Diwali, which means a row of lights, is a celebration of the day that Rama returned to his kingdom. The holiday symbolizes a time when good conquered evil.  Many families enjoy the day by praying, socializing, eating sweets and delicious food, and wearing fresh clothes.  We also play card games but I’m not sure about the history behind that tradition.


By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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