An Unforgettable Diwali in South Korea
That's Not All
Not to forget the crazy ass traffic on roads, the gambling tradition, and the incessant binging and putting on those extra calories in the process.
Can someone do anything about the burn injuries and air/noise pollution that result as a direct consequence of burning those effing firecrackers?
Diwali in Korean Highschool
You probably think it's a joke but it's not :)
In this post, I'll share my most memorable Diwali story that dates back to circa 2011 when me along with wifey (Sadhna), son (Rishab, aged 3 at that time), and a colleague from Lionbridge Korea (let's call him Jalan "asshole" Andrade) celebrated the festival of lights in - lo and behold - a Korean highschool.
|Diwali God Idols|
Ghar Waali Diwali
So we chalked out a plan to perfection for our first Diwali away from India.
First, we went to the biggest discount store in Korea called Homeplus to look for Diwali stuff (for the uninitiated, we lived in Korea for seven years from 2005 to 2012).
From one corner of the department store to the other, the search for colored flour, diyas, firecrackers/bottle rockets, lanterns, flower petals, etc. sent the entire retail chain staff into a frenzy.
We weren't going anywhere until we got what we wanted :D
We DID manage to get everything, most importantly the colored flour for preparing Rangoli.
In India, it is not uncommon to clean and decorate homes, commercial and government buildings, etc. before Diwali.
Don't Freak Out The Dogs
Now Diwali fireworks is considered a family event in most parts of India.
And I wonder why?
People light up fireworks in streets, near their homes, almost oblivious of the fact that they are freaking out the poor animals like stray dogs in the ordeal.
Don't get me started on the air and noise pollution. If you asked me what I dislike the most about this festival, it has go to be this part.
Anyway, since Jalan "asshole" Andrade was planning to pay us a visit on Diwali, we decided to shop for some Phuljharis (sparklers that are very popular on Diwali nights).
Roles and Responsibilities
So we were all set. I was saddled with the task of indoor and outdoor Diya decoration. Jalan would hang the Diwali lanterns. Sadhna would make the Rangoli.
On the D-day
At the setting of the sun, we ventured into a Korean highschool - our hunting ground for bursting firecrackers. We were doing fine for about 30 minutes, until the security guard spotted the fantastic four and shooed us away.
Shaken, Not Stirred
In no mood to allow anyone dampen our festive spirits, we returned to our apartment. And here's what we did.
We lit the candles and diyas again. From the balcony of our eighth floor apartment, Jalan started to fiddle with bottle rockets by placing the stick in an empty bottle and then igniting the rocket engine. Rishab's excitement was to be seen during the first moments of its flight. Simply put, priceless.
The fun continued throughout the night - with gambling first, followed by two back-to-back Bollywood flicks.
Who could've possibly imagined a Diwali away from home will turn out to be our most memorable to date!