This weekend, many colleagues celebrate the auspicious Hindu festival Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights. At HUC, we are proud of our diversity and the number of colleagues we have from different backgrounds, which reflects the patient communities we serve. Today we speak with Avani, an NHS 111 Call Handler and Coach, who shared more about what Diwali means to her.
“Diwali is our biggest festival, like Christians’ Christmas,” Avani explained. “It is the last day of the Hindu calendar and the next day after Diwali marks the Hindu New Year. We celebrate Diwali for 5 days.”
What is the meaning behind Diwali?
“Diwali represents the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It marks the day Lord Rama returned home after 14 years of exile and defeated the demon, Ravana. On that moonless night, people lit lamps to guide Rama’s way back, illuminating his path. That is why Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights.”
The 5-day festival involves making rangoli artwork, cooking special foods, and exchanging gifts. Avani shared that young people receive presents from their elders during Diwali. Avani and her family visit temples, where they make over 1,600 different handmade food dishes without onion, oil and garlic to offer their Lords.
We wish everyone who celebrates a very Happy Diwali!
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