Coffee House Chats: Diwali

Grace Reddish

Embracing our cultures.

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is annually celebrated by over 800 million people worldwide.

The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, and is centred around a whole host of traditions, like cleaning and decorating your entire house, making culinary delights, and lighting the skies with firework displays.

We chatted with our colleagues Dharmesh and Vineeta, all about what Diwali means to them, and why it’s important to celebrate events like it at the workplace.

What does Diwali mean to you?

D – For me, Diwali takes me back to being with my mum. It’s all about celebrating traditions, and coming together as a family, which is even more special when you don’t get to do it often.

V – Well I’ve not stopped preparing food for the last 5 days! Diwali is well-known for all the food that is made and eaten, and my kitchen has been full with all the different dishes. As Diwali is the Hindu New Year, I’ve been surrounded with my family and friends and cleaned my house from top to bottom!

What’s your favourite thing about Diwali?

V – I love how everyone makes such an effort to come together and bond over something so special. My favourite thing especially about Diwali is being able to pass on the excitement down to future generations. 

D – Because my family live all across the world, my favourite thing is being able to see everyone as it helps solidify our bond. When we’re all together we reminisce on past memories and how they made Diwali special.

How important is it to celebrate different cultural events in the workplace?

V – Nowadays, people are a lot more accepting of different cultures, and are also more inquisitive. It’s so nice to come to work and have people wish you a “Happy Diwali”, even my English neighbours came over to my house and celebrated with us, because they heard about Diwali and wanted to learn more!

D – The exposure of different events means that more people are able to get involved and have a wider awareness of what is important to others, which I think is really nice.

What’s 1 thing more people should know about Diwali?

D – I’d just remind people that Diwali is a celebration of good over bad, and finding peace. The world nowadays can sometimes feel like a dark place, and I think regardless of your religion or beliefs, everyone can resonate with wanting to see the goodness in the world. Oh, and there’s plenty of sweets eaten during Diwali – and who doesn’t like sweets!

Coming together

By embracing each other’s culture, we’re able to expand our knowledge and widen our understanding.

Simple actions can have a wide-felt impact, especially in the workplace.

One of our values is We Are Better Together, and by celebrating our differences, we’re able to build an inclusive culture, and be better together.

Here’s Team Baxter enjoying some dishes typically eaten during Diwali.

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