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Sights and sounds of India take centre stage at Diwali celebration

By Victoria Irene - Nov 16,2019 - Last updated at Nov 16,2019

The Indian community in Amman on Friday celebrated the festival of lights, Diwali (Photo courtesy of Indian embassy)

AMMAN — Dancing, singing, artwork and culinary delicacies displayed the many facets of Indian culture to an audience of 250 Indian nationals and their guests at the Indian community’s brightest event of the year, Diwali 2019, which the embassy marked on Friday in Amman.  

The popular and widespread festival of lights traditionally commemorates the victory of good over evil and is celebrated in India by lighting lamps, arraying colourful sand into intricate patterns (rangoli), setting off fireworks and gathering with family and friends to exchange gifts and enjoy food, music and dance, organiser Avesh Kumar told The Jordan Times.

In Jordan, this year’s event, held under the patronage of the embassy and in partnership with the Indian Women Association and the Jordan India Friendship Society, saw the “largest turnout yet”, Kumar said. 

India’s Ambassador to Jordan Anwar Haleem inaugurated the event, lighting a traditional lamp as Jordanian artist Hind Hamed sang a Hindi song in honour of Mahatma Ghandi’s 150th birth anniversary, which is being marked in 2019. 

Guests witnessed a colourful programme of music and dance performances from across India, were treated to a culinary spread of dishes from around the sub-continent and enjoyed dance-floor beats by a DJ straight from Bollywood. 

“We want to show another side of India, from the point of view of the people,” Haleem told The Jordan Times, noting the event’s role in connecting Indian nationals with the Jordanian and expat communities, who saw a wide representation among the attendants. 

 Hailing from Kerala, Sanal Kumar, a business-owner in Ramtha who has spent 20 years in the Kingdom, said: “It’s absolutely nice to have such a huge gathering of our community,” adding that the event “provides a vision of our people through the well-received cultural and dance forms”.

Sanad, a Jordanian student at the German-Jordanian University, told The Jordan Times that, although he had been exposed to Indian culture through music and Bollywood, it was his first time attending an event hosted by the Indian community.

“It’s nice to see the culture in addition to the movies. I’m really enjoying it. I feel like you’re in the mood with everyone, and it’s nice to see how they accept others,” he said.

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