Hindus in Durban have carried over a lot of traditions and celebrations from India but the most important and famous celebration is Diwali or Deepavali. Diwali is celebrated by Durban Hindus every year and is called the festival of lights. It is marked by fireworks in the sky and is a celebration period that last for a day or two.
The reason for Diwali
There are many myths why we celebrate Diwali but the main theme is victory over evil. The most famous legend is the return of Lord Rama and Sita from a forest in Ayhoda in India after 40 days after they were sent into exile by a cruel king. To mark their return, the people held a celebration and are a belief held by Hindi speaking Hindus. The Tamils in Durban believe that Diwali is celebrated after God destroyed an evil king that was imprisoning innocent people. The king’s last wish is that his death should be a celebration hence that was the start of Diwali. The main purpose of Diwali is to celebrate goodness over evil.
The celebration of Diwali in Durban
Diwali usually falls in October or November depending on the moon. Diwali is a time of celebration of the triumph and victory of good over evil. In Durban, people start a week ahead preparing sweetmeats and baking treats. On Diwali day in Durban Hindus have an oil bath which is rubbed on their body by the elder of the family. The oil is to cleanse the body of evil forces and bring fortune and purity to their thoughts and actions. Thereafter they put on new clothes and distribute parcels and gifts to family and friends. There is an exchange of Diwali parcels or gifts. People also decorate their houses and light clay lamps in rows and display them. The light is the significance of the good over evil, as the darkness represents evil. At night there is a firework display which is the highlight of the celebration, the arrays of light over the sky is the victory celebrated.
Every year there is a firework display on the Durban beachfronts to attenuate the celebration. Diwali is also a time of giving and most communities in Durban come together to distribute food hampers to the less fortunate. Therefore Diwali is a celebration and a time of giving where all our good qualities attain victory over the bad.
Umgubho kaDiwali, umgubho owenziwa ngaboMdabu baseNdiya abangamaHindu. Lomgubho unomlando omude ngoba basuka nawo ezwenikazi laseNdiya ngesikhathi befudukela eNingizimu Afrika. Lomgubho bawubiza ngokuthi umgubho wokukhanya bawenza minyaka yonke, uthatha izinsuku ezimbili lapho abenkolo yamaHindu beqhumisa ama-cricket (fireworks) ukubungazo lolusuku. Ziningi izinkolelo-ze ngezizathu zokubungaza lolusuku kumaHindu, kodwa bona basuke bebungaza ukunqoba izinto ezimbi ezenzekayo. Indaba enohlonze exoxwa ngalolusuku ukubuya kwenkosi uRama noSita ehlathini ngemuva kwezinsuku ezingu – 40 bekade bedingiswe yinkosi eyayinonya kakhulu. Ukubonga ukubuya kwalaba ababili abantu benza imigubho eyathatha izinsuku ezimbili. Kodwa labo abakhuluma isiTamil bakholelwa ukuthi lomgubha waba ngemuva kokuthi kubulewe inkosi eyayinonya ifaka abantu abamsulwa ejele ngaphandle kwesizathu. Isifiso saleyonkosi eyabulala owayehlukumeza kwaba ukuthi abantu bagubhe ukufa kwayo ngenjabulo yilapho kwaqala khona lomgubho kwaDiwali.
Lomgubho wenziwa phakathi kwezinyanga u-October no -November, bona babhekisise ukuthi inyanga iyisimo esinjani. Ngalisisikhathi abantu bayazilungiselela bepheka noma bebhaka ukudla okukhethekile okudliwa ngalesikhathi. Ngosuku lukaDiwali amaHindu ageza ngamafutha lokhu kwenziwa ngumuntu omdala emndenini. Lamafutha awuphawu lokugeza imimoya emibi nokuletha izinhlanhla nenhlanzeko emicabangweni nasezenzweni zabo. Nemizi iyahlotshiswa kukhanyiswa amalambu akhethekile. Ukukhanyisa kuwuphawu lezinto ezinhle ezizokwenzeka, ngoba ubumnyama buwuphawu lwezinto ezimbi. Kuthi ebusuku baqhumise ama-cricket. Njalo ngonyaka kuba nezikhangisa olwandle lwaseThekwini zeziqhumane ezenziwa ngosuku lukaDiwali. Abaningi lesikhathi basisebenzisela ukupha abampofu noma abaswele ukudla kanye nokunye.