Peaceful Communties still Exist

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending some Divali Celebrations in my community as well as in Felicity. Felicity is a small rural community in central Trinidad. Divali is a Hindu celebrations where the home is lighted up with dias to welcome the goddess Lakshmi, since it is believed she will bring prosperity.

I remember as a child growing up things like Divali and Christmas used to be huge events that I looked forward to every year. Divali time was about getting dressed in pretty Indian wear and going by family or friends to light up, play with star lights and eat Indian sweets. Not only were there Indian sweets, there was delicious Indian food as well, roti and curry, but as a child with a sweet tooth, the sweets were my favorite part.
Over the years, moving on to becoming a teenager and an adult, festivals like Divali and even Christmas lost some of that of that childlike luster it once had. Long ago it just used to be more fun not only because I was a child but people in general were so carefree and full of life. The togetherness that was once felt sometimes feels quite absent.
These feelings though, changed in the celebrations for this year. My two outings were impromptu this year. I was greatly saddened by the first one in my community. Back in the days they used to have prayers, bend bamboo into interesting shapes and invite people to light the dias, sing and partake. The celebrations this year and a few years now is like a show. The crowd does not participate and there was no prayers. Entertainers were on stage performing. This is certainly not like the celebrations I know or remembered.
The second celebrations restored my faith in my fellow country men. My drive to Felicity was quite lovely was passed on some country road where there had many houses lighted up beautifully. When we arrived in Felicity it felt like a different country. The entire street was filled with arches and overhead lights. As we started to walk along the street, each and every house was immaculately clean. Hindu’s were lighting their dias. We passed many houses where they gave out Indian sweets and parasad. There were various houses that did different types of bamboo bending with dias and Christmas lights. Many houses even put up bamboo stands outside on the pavement so that foreigners could lite a dia as well. Other houses had dias on their walls and banisters.

Walking along the street in Felicity felt so wonderful. I felt the togetherness and peacefulness of the community. I felt safe and even reminisced a bit from my childhood memories. I felt very much like a child again in awe at the lights. These feelings made me realise that no matter what, crime rate, 3rd world mentality and dictator style rulers, there are good peaceful people living in our country. People are still willing to open their doors and their hearts to others. These feelings are certainly not what I feel everyday walking through the streets or travelling on the road. Togetherness and peacefulness should be the everyday norm in Trinidad not something to be sampled once in a while. But I felt really good knowing that these qualities still exist in the people of Trinidad…
Jenna Samaroo


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