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During Diwali, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains celebrate the legends and stories that describe the triumph of good over evil and justice over oppression. Critically acclaimed author Rina Singh explores her Indian roots as she tells the Diwali stories, which remind us that eventually light will prevail over darkness.

   Enriched by personal stories and spiced with festive recipes, including two by acclaimed chef, Vikram Vij, Diwali: Festival of Lights brings to life the holiday’s traditions, food and rituals and takes you on a journey to see how this festival is celebrated around the world!

   Diwali is the second book in the Orca Origins series, which examines how ancient traditions are kept alive in the modern world.
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Diwali  Festival of Lights
di wa l i ,orIgINàLLy à HàrvEs f EstIvàL, CELEbràEs HE rIumPH of gooD ovEr EvIL àND of justICE ovEr oPPrEssIoN. TràDItIoN, f ooD, rIuàL, àND HE àNNuàL rEELLINg of HE LEgENDs of Ràmà, KrIsHNà àND làksHmI CHàràCErIzE HIs HoLIDày, HE bIggEs àND brIgHEs of àLL iNDIàN f EstIvàLs.
Also available in theOrca Origins series
pR i n T e d i n c h i na
R ina Singhwàs borN IN iNDIà àND moveD o càNàDà IN 1980. SHe Is àN INerNàtIoNàlly publIsHeD CHIlDreN’s àuHor wIH à Deep INeres IN worlD Culures: HeIr musIC,  ooD, rIuàls àND espeCIàlly HeIr sorIes. SHe lIves wIH Her HusbàND IN ToroNo, ONàrIo, wHere sHe CoNtINues o eàCH àND wrIe àND Dreàm o  àràwày làNDs. For more IN ormàtIoN, vIsI www.rINàsINGH.Com.
FroN Cover àND f làp pHoos: dreàmstIme.Com, ge y imàGes, ISoCk.Com, RINà SINGH BàCk Cover pHoo: amrIà SINGH au Hor pHoo: amrIà SINGH
Light up your world with the magic of Diwali.
FIreworks,  ooD àND  àmIly. dIwàlI remINDs us Hà lIGH wIll àlwàys prevàIl over DàrkNess.
Rina Singh D Feistivwal ofaLighltsi
Text copyright ©2016Rina Singh
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Singh, Rina,1955–, author Diwali: festival of lights / Rina Singh. (Orca origins)
Includes index.
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459810075 (bound).—isbn 9781459810082 (pdf).— isbn 9781459810099(epub)
1. Divali—Juvenile literature. I. Title. bl1239.82.d58s56 2016j294.5'36 c20169004996 c20169005003
First published in the United States,2016 Library of Congress Control Number:2016931882
Summary:Enlivened by personal stories,Diwaliilluminates and celebrates how Hindu, Sikh and Jain traditions are kept alive in the modern world in this work of nonfiction for middle readers.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Design by Rachel Page Front cover photos by Getty Images, iStock.com, Dreamstime.com Back cover photo by Amrita Singh
orca book publishers www.orcabook.com
Printed and bound in China.
For Monique, who lighs up my life
rina singh Co7Inntrodtucetionnts
Chapter One: What Is Diwali?
11The Hindu Legends of Diwali 12Rama’s Legend 15Krishna’s Legend 16Lakshmi’s Legend 17The Days of Diwali 19Hindu Diwali 22Sikh Diwali 24Jain Diwali 26Aditya’s Story
Chapter Two: The History of Indian Immigration
29Coming to North America 29United States 31Canada 34TheKomagata Maru 37After theKomagata MaruIncident 40Swati’s Story 42Nimrat’s Story
Chapter Three: The Evolution of Diwali
47The Changing Face of Diwali in India 49Mithai Gets a Makeover 50Widows Celebrate Diwali 53Diwali in North America Now 60Mitra’s Story 62Sapna’s Story
running head
Chapter Four: Diwali Around the World
65Diwali in India 65Jaipur 66Varanasi 67West Bengal and Assam 67Goa 68Diwali in the Slums of Mumbai 74Kerala 76Diwali Outside India 76Nepal 78Great Britain 78Singapore 79Thailand 80South Africa 81Suriname 81Trinidad 87A final word from the author
88Glossary 89References and Resources 91Index 95Acknowledgments
Marigolds. Rina Singh
rina singh
Lights of Diwali. Rina Singh
When I was a child growing up in India,Diwali was no only he mos imporan f estival and lased he longes, bu i was also my f avorie. The wordDiwalicomes f rom heSanskriTwordsdeepa, meaning “ligh,” andvali, meaning “row.” A row of lighs. Tha’s how I remember he f estival—as an endless row of lighs. T h e r e wa s s o m e  h i n g m a g i c a l a b o u  D iwa l i —  h e lighs, he shopping, he sparklers, he f ireworks and miThai, he swees ha gave me a swee ooh.Schools closed down f or en days bef ore Diwali and we f el he exciemen in he air. My f avo r i  e m e m o r y i s wa  c h i n g my m o m p o u r m u s  a r d o i l i n  odiyas,l a m p s o i l o r c l ay,o f m a d e
Looking at Diwali lights. I think my father totally captured my amazement. B.S. Sodhi
My mother’s prayer (puja) room withpictures of the goddess Lakshmi andGuru Nanak side by side on Diwali night. M.S. Sodhi
rina singh
and arrange coon wicks in hem. She hen se hem in large plaers calledThaalisha I eagerly carried o my aher. I sood by his side as he li he diyasand placed hem around he house. Aer ha I would sand back and le mysel be dazzled by he lamps lighting up he darkes nigh o he monh. Then we all gahered in my mom’spuja,or prayer, room o oFer prayers o Lakshmi, he goddess o wealh. The room also had picures o he Sikhgurus, or spiri-ual eachers. My moher is Hindu and my aher is Sikh. Sikhs believe in one god, and Hindus worship millions o gods and goddesses. No one old me o pray o any god in particular. I jus prayed because everyone around me did. I didn’ occur o me o question i we were celebrating a Hindu Diwali or a Sikh Diwali. I was jus Diwali.