Connecticut Hindus Keep Diwali Traditions Alive

October 29, 2005

Source: Hartford Courant,0,6418185.story?coll=hc-headlines-life

On October 29, 2005 the Hartford Courant reported, "Growing up in Mumbai, India, Beena Pandit [a Hindu living in Connecticut] remembers the sights and sounds of the Hindu holiday of Diwali, a time of celebration that marks the year's end... Re-creating the experience of Diwali for her American-born children can be a challenge. Diwali is a lunar holiday that occurs between October and December. In New England, the weather rarely cooperates with holiday rituals such as setting lighted candles outside in clay pots or drawing a Rangoli design of colored sand on the ground in front of the house. The holiday also has to compete with late-year holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas - which many Hindus also celebrate. But Pandit said that she and her husband, Ashvin, also observe the rituals of Diwali to preserve its meaning for their son, Saagar 14, and daughter, Priya, 16... There are about 30,000 Hindus in Connecticut and one temple, Connecticut Valley Hindu Temple, in Middletown. Many will gather at the Middletown temple this weekend for a festival and on Tuesday for puja or prayers for the well-being of friends and families."