Tag Archives: diwali

diwali in trafalgar square

3 Nov

london 3.33pm 11C rain sunday 2019

i just got back from the diwali celebrations in trafalgar square. rather a nice one this year, because there were quite a number of stalls giving away free snacks. and one giving away hot chai. the hot chai was very welcomed by me. haha. 

there was another giving cooking demonstrations, with ghee, and handing out the food when itis cooked. the ghee was what they are trying to advertise, with people approaching us in the queue for the chai, asking if we want to buy ghee, at £5. the indian guy behind me in the queue told me it is very good for health, when i asked if indian people use ghee a lot in their cooking. he said yes. he did tell me that the ghee at £5 is rather expensive, usually he said it is about £3. i said perhaps it is organic. that is why. he was friendly and asked me where i am from. he himself i found out has been here about 1.5yrs, and is from chennai. formerly madras. it is in south india, and he volunteered the information that he is not vegetarian, when i mentioned that the south is very vegetarian because i see someone eating lentils and wondered where he got them, and then saw the cooking demonstration dishing them out. i said i was really surprised he is not vegetarian, as he comes from south india. but i guess not everyone conforms to the stereotype. haha. 

the snacks were bombay mix, or some other combination , and another giving away sweet yoghurt to accompany a tumeric rice and herbs. they were also giving away chutney. all in small pots, and i could not help thinking oh dear all those plastic pots to litter the environment. but then, what can you do, we all dont have our own cups to hold these things, nor our own cups for the chai. so many one- use paper cups littering the place. i have my own cup but even i can see how difficult it is going to be to get people to present their own cups for it to be filled, the queue will take even longer and slower to move. it is too bad we humans dont have a extra hand that is cup shaped haha. if we have one, it got to be heat resistant, otherwise we wont be able to hold hot drinks.

there were of course the usual paid for food stalls, quite a lot of them this year, lining both sides of trafalgar square and also all along the side road that runs along the canadian embassy building. and long queues to buy food from them. there was also a central stage , with dancers in bright costumes , with glass adornments in them, as they were sparkling and shining. i like those costumes, so cheerful and exhilarating.

its 4.37pm now and it is dark outside. the lights have come on from the flat opposite me. and the lights in the courtyard have come on too. 

 

how do u spend the time

9 Nov

london 9.37pm 11.2C rain friday 2018

i wonder how people are spending their time now wherever they live.

perhaps in india they are celebrating the diwali. it lasts 5 days and i have been reading blogs about it. also the news that delhi woke up today to a huge smog over the city, due to the fireworks and also field burning. they have a ban on fireworks but of course it is difficult to enforce it. and there is a lot of burning of oil lamps too. but i hope the pollution wont dampen people’s enjoyment of this festival.

i think this festival is more celebrated in the north , rather than south of india. most of the migrants to malaysia come from the south, and i think thaipusam is a bigger thing in south india and hence in malaysia.  from what i see of the blogs talking about diwali, (malaysians call it deepavali which i think is a south indian term), the highlight is the huge variety of sweets that come out specially  at this time.

i met someone at the library today who told me she will be going to malaysia for a month in february. she said it had been a long time since we saw each other. i thought she was a homeless person, but i must be wrong , if she can afford the flight to malaysia. and it seems she goes to penang often. she will spend all that month in penang. when i ask her what is it about penang she likes, she said it is the people. i forgot to ask her to elaborate.

here in london there is the upcoming weekend, when they celebrate remembrance sunday… it is the 100th anniversary of the first world war. but this affair is not accompanied by feasting, so there is no mass adverts of food. most of the adverts now are christmas related, in anticipation of that day and softening us up for that. i think there are very few who are alive to remember that first world war. even for the 2nd world war, there must be  dwindling numbers who have lived through it. 

diwali trafalgar square

15 Oct

london 4.52pm 19C sunny sunday 2017

i have been to the diwali festival in trafalgar square. every year we have this festival . this time they put all the food stalls outside the square, in a side road that runs by the canadian embassy. that frees up the square for people who want to watch the show on the stage that they have set up. i think it a sensible situation, so that those who just want to eat can do so and it stops that situation where the square is so full that no one is allowed to enter, even though they might just want to access the food stalls in there. this way, people can continue to eat and buy food , even though the main square is so full that no one is allowed in. it would help the food stalls , as they can continue to sell their food. there were long queues to get the food even at shortly after they opened, when i got there. its very popular the food. here they call it diwali, whereas in malaysia we call it deepavali. i think this is because the southern indians call it that, and most of the indians in malaysia are from the south. the actual diwali day is thurs 19 oct.

when i got back i saw a post online about basmati rice. it seems the EU are imposing a ban on this fungicide that india farmers use to stop a disease affecting their basmati crop. 

Current EU restrictions limiting traces to 1 mg/kg were already considered conservative compared to Japanese and US import limits of 3 mg/kg.

But in June the Commission ruled traces must be all but eradicated from December.

so come dec 2017, all imports of basmati rice from india will be banned from the EU. though not from pakistan, as they dont use the fungicide. half of the EU import of rice goes to the UK. prices will bound to go up. unless uk have a large stockpile of old stock which they can use until the 3 yrs is up for the indian farmers to stop using it and clear it from their rice. though it would be real funny, as in sad funny, if the disease spreads and destroys the crops. then we will have no rice to buy. the quicker we get out of the EU the better…