Can distance deter people from celebrating a festival? Living miles away from home are many Indians who are ushering in the festivities with equal pomp and cheer. Such is the magic of Diwali.
Keeping the festive mood alive was our weekly show, Adda With Kalyan, and this time it was special. For, we got some popular names from the food and culture space settled abroad. This week, IFN's Editor-At-Large, Kalyan Karmakar got talking to food bloggers and writers, chefs and home cooks based in Singapore, London and Sydney to find out what celebrations are like away from home.
London's popular Indian restaurant, Dhishoom showcases a festive mood during Diwali, which not just centers around Indians but also Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and even the British. Asma Said Khan, who serves Indian food from the royal kitchens under Darjeeling Express says, "It is not just a Hindu Indian festival here in London. It is open to all." On the occasion of Diwali, she distributed pakoras and chai on the house to her customers.
Sudha Kanago, who shuttles between India and Singapore reveals that the latter witnessed an official holiday a day before Diwali. As the VP at Quintiles, a clinical research firm and a home cook, she has observed local Singaporeans as well as the Indian expat community come together to revel in the festivities. Little India is where all the action is as far as Diwali is concerned she informs. "I have a series of dinner parties in the next few days, which will be recreated with the same fervour," she quips.
Meanwhile in Parramatta, a suburb in Sydney, Diwali is celebrated with Indian delicacies, colourful fairs and events et al. Software professional Bhavna Kalra, who also blogs about food at Just a Girl from Aamchi Mumbai says, "When it comes to Indian food, Australia thrives on north Indian or specifically Gujarati food." Saravanaa Bhavan, which is known across the world for traditional south Indian treats, serves Diwali faral consisting of chaklis and chivda!