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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

    Pandemic hit nation and Diwali celebrations in India

    Diwali 2020 is just days away and we are all geared up for the festivities. It is time to light up our homes and gorge on the sweets.

    Guwahati: Candlelights, earthen lamps, gifts, home filled with a delicious smell of appetising sweets, warmth of families and friends, and the chill of the incoming winter season, that’s how we would like to paint a perfect picture of Diwali celebrations.

    Diwali 2020 is just days away and we are all geared up for the festivities. It is time to light up our homes and gorge on the sweets.

    For generations, Indian homes were lit with up with diyas or traditional earthen lamps, however, over the past few years, potters have been complaining that customers preferred cheaper electrical lightning or more pricy products in shopping malls.

    This is jeopardising their livelihood, spelling darkness for the traditional potter, as for the ‘kumhars’ or potters, it is also the time to sell handcrafted wares that they have been making for months in anticipation of the auspicious festival.

    Due to the COVID this year, the local artisans won’t be able to have large scale exhibitions or fairs. The craftspeople have barely had any sales in the last six months and they are struggling economically.

    It is a curious time. Not just fear of a possibly mortal disease, but a lockdown of all social, and economic activity. For craftspeople, dependent on daily production and sales, life has come to a halt – there will be no melas, less sales, less raw material, and almost no money to feed their family.

    To promote small manufacturers, retailers, shopkeepers etc, a mass movement have been started across the country which urges people to buy locally as much as possible.

    This will not only strengthen the local identity, but also make Diwali celebrations of the people who make these goods worth.

    This raises awareness about the local crafts and to keep the tradition of oil lamps alive and not replacing them by the imported lights.

    Even though the festival of lights is just two days away but this year is not the same. Even when the fear of coronavirus lurks, the pandemic hit nation is in no mood keep social distance with festive cheers.


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