BY DONNA PARKIN — More than 300 Outrigger on the Lagoon • Fiji (FOR) resort guests helped celebrate Diwali, one of the most important festivals on the Hindu calendar, with a feast of classic Indian dishes.
The main buffet restaurant was decorated with colourful lights and all staff dressed in their favourite Diwali outfit.
Expatriate Indian Sous Chef Gulshan Kumar and his team created an extraordinary buffet of the unique Indo-Fijian cuisine that characterises the islands.
Children took advantage of the resort’s henna tattoo artist to adorn themselves with traditional Indian body artwork.
Diwali is a celebration of the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil, a time when homes and offices are cleaned and oil lamps or diyas are lit. Homes are decorated with coloured lights, candles, paper lanterns and religious symbols made from coloured rice and chalk.
Fiji’s Hindus wear new clothes or their best outfit; say family puja or prayers, often to Lakshmi the goddess of wealth and prosperity; light fireworks; enjoy a family feast; and exchange gifts.
In Fiji, the celebrations are markedly different from those in India with Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Muslims and other cultural groups all celebrating Diwali as a time for sharing with friends and family, as well as signaling the beginning of the holiday season. It is also a time for fireworks, retail sales and giveaways.