Deepavali or Diwali is a Hindu festival which celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It’s probably the most enthusiastically celebrated festival in my home country, India; however, I had no idea that it is a popular one even in Singapore. I couldn’t be home this Diwali but I did have my share of fun on the day in Little India. The place is situated in the heart of Singapore and is called so due to the Indian style markets, restaurants and architecture in the region.
As soon as I got out of the train at the Little India station, the first thing that took me by surprise was the decoration on the platform itself. In English and in Tamil, it was written in huge letters, “Happy Deepavali.”
Coming out of the station, I realized that the decoration on the platform was nothing compared to how the whole place was decorated in beautiful colors. There were beautiful drawings of diyas (earthen lamps which are a characteristic of the festival), flowers and animals. It was such a happy vibe, all around. I started walking around the place, looking at everything and just exploring the market.
Hindus worship their Gods and Goddesses on Diwali and offerings are made to them in form of sweets, flowers and garlands. The Goddesses are also offered Bangles, bracelets and all kinds of jewelry that a married Hindu woman wears traditionally. These stalls look really beautiful as they hang out and keep the items outside to attract more customers. Being from India, I can totally tell you that in Little India, one really feels like walking in a common Indian market during Diwali.
As I would have done had I been in India, I also visited a Hindu temple to pray to God. Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is one of the most famous temples in Singapore and it was obvious for it to be crowded on the day of Diwali. It is said that visiting the temple, one gets a strange sense of power and self-belief in all his endeavors. The temple displayed an ancient style of architecture with a typical Indian temple canopy-style structure and numerous statues of Gods, Goddesses and sacred animals portraying ancient stories of Hindu mythology.
Beyond this, it was time to jump onto my favorite part about Diwali- Food!!! I went to one of the South-Indian restaurants and, believe it or not, shamelessly ordered North Indian dishes. I had a big Bhatura with Chhole and then a Poori set and then also had a glass of masala tea (Indians read: Chai)The restaurant was called Chettynad Curry Palace and the food was finger-licking yum. The Indian food may not look the best in the word but trust me, it tastes the best! I felt I was done but on the way back, I entered another restaurant called Komala Vilas and a had full plate of Masala Dosa and then an Uttapam because why not! It was Diwali!
The shops began to shut down as the late hour crept in. I realized it as well that it was time to go home. It was a fun day and it’s not everyday that you have four different dishes exclusively for dinner. I took a train back to NTU and throughout the way back, I only kept thinking how that day was the closest that I could reach to the home feels. <3