Today, we celebrate Diwali (Deepavali), one of the most awaited and immensely cherished festivals across India and parts of Nepal. Diwali is the ‘Festival of Lights’, which for Hindus marks the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after living in exile for 14 years. Upon his homecoming, the city was brightly lit with lamps and from this comes the tradition of lighting oil lamps, symbolising the victory of good over evil and freedom from spiritual darkness.
Ravneet Kaur, Provider Master Data Management Administrator at Medibank, says that Diwali is a festival she and her family looks forward to every year as it’s an occasion for joy, thrill, and excitement for the whole family.
“It is one of India’s most colourful, sacred and loveliest celebrations. It is the ‘Festival of Lights’, a time when people come together to celebrate light conquering dark, lasting for five days and creates a sense of unity amongst the community.”
Ravneet and her family celebrating Diwali.
Diwali, like most cultural events, is made even more special because of the amazing customs and traditions associated with it, such as making special sweets and sharing them with family and friends.
“We give the house a thorough clean and decorate it with diyas (oil lamps), candles, colourful bright lights, and flowers. It’s a time to dress up in new clothes and visit a temple to offer prayers and seek Lord Rama’s blessings. Gifts are exchanged and the evening is filled with singing, dancing, and lots of beautiful fireworks.”
Her favourite part of Diwali is preparing the delicious foods, both savoury and sweet. These include Besan Laddoo, Gujia, Barfi, and Samosas. She also has fond memories of going out shopping with her dad for all the Diwali specialties like toys and firecrackers.
Diwali is a special time to celebrate with family and friends, sharing gifts and yummy treats.
Ravneet says each element present during the celebration plays an integral part in creating the ideal atmosphere for the day.
“The sounds of the firecrackers symbolise getting rid of all bad omens while the lamps are seen as lighting up the lives of people. The prayers that are said help to create an atmosphere that is filled with goodness and purity. In a sense, all of these aspects create the feeling of heaven.”
Ravneet and her family enjoying the firework display for Diwali.
Medibank deeply supports diversity and inclusion and Ravneet says she’s proud to be a part of a company that acknowledges and embraces employees from different cultural, ethnic, religious backgrounds and nationalities.
Ravneet with her Medibank colleagues, celebrating Diwali together.
“Medibank has always celebrated Diwali through cooking workshops, teams bringing plates to share with each other, asking employees to dress in colourful outfits, and holding a Diwali lunch. It incorporates the Diwali spirit – ‘Beautiful people, wearing beautiful dresses, eating beautiful food, and enjoying a beautiful evening’.”