For the South Asian diaspora – the line between being western enough for the west and still “rooted” or “traditional” enough to be accepted by your ancestral culture, is a journey with no real closure or revelation. For Desis, annual celebrations such as Diwali provide an opportunity to form unabashed connections and build a stronger bond to culture, religion and family.

I grew up Sikh, and identify with it more than any other religion I’ve explored; though that’s a story for another day. Diwali is often taught in schools as a Hindu festival, completely bypassing its significance in other religions, namely Jainism and Sikhi. These religions celebrate Diwali for different reasons, with their own flavour, but with the same essence. This is a festival about the triumph of good over evil, and celebrating your inner light; which is exactly how the diaspora put their own spin on this grey area of identity we are living.

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