Diwali in Pakistan, through pictures
The first day of Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights – was celebrated at Krishna temple in Rawalpindi yesterday.
As a budding photojournalist and having many friends who belong to minority sects, I feel passionately about the state of affairs of the Pakistani minorities. I was, therefore, thrilled to be part of the annual Diwali celebrations for the first time.
The warm, friendly and hospitable atmosphere at the temple made my stay extremely exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed covering this colourful celebration. Here are a few highlights of my unique experience:
1) A girl performs the ‘pooja’ ritual before the Hindu deity Lord Krishna.
2) A woman decorates her hands with henna.
3) Men exchange greetings at the temple’s entrance.
4) A woman lights diyas (oil lamps) and places them in various corners of the temple.
5) A man smears tilak on devotees’ foreheads.
6) A teenage girl performs ‘arti’ before Lord Krishna.
7) A woman prays on Diwali.
8) The temple was decorated with fresh flowers and candles.
9) Hindu Pundit blows a conch shell for blessings during ‘pooja’.
10) A man offers prayers to Hindu God Krishna.
The Hindu community, though a very small minority, constitute an integral part of the cultural and ethnic diversity of Pakistan. They are as much a part of Pakistan as the rest of us and understanding their occasions is something we should all strive to do.
Wishing everyone around the globe a very happy Diwali and hoping that Pakistan keeps growing as a tolerant, peace-loving and inclusive nation.
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