Durham Diwali festival moves online

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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Durham University has moved its annual Diwali celebration online. Families celebrate the Indian festival of lights every November; however, this year celebrations are being forced to take place in a different format to previous years. 

Family-friendly activities are available on the Oriental Museum’s ‘Explore From Home’ web page where families can find craft activities, a re-telling of the epic story of Prince Rama and Princess Sita from the Ramayana and video recipes for a delicious vegetarian Indian Thali feast. 

Alongside the online activities offered, a Lakshmi Puja ceremony in which traditional prayers are said to Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, will be streamed live on Saturday 14th November. This will take place on the Oriental Museum’s Facebook page from 7pm and also be available on the University website from Monday 16th November.

These online celebration ideas have been curated with the help of the local Indian community who have worked alongside museum staff to ensure celebrations can continue this year, albeit in an online format. 

Deepthi Penukonda, one of the local residents involved, said: “It has been a bit of a challenge to make the videos, but a lot of fun too. All the recipes are easy and delicious. I hope people have a go at making their own dishes at home.”

Charlotte Spink, a Learning Assistant at the Oriental Museum, also commented: “This year, more than ever, we are so grateful to our community and students volunteers who have worked wonders creating so much great online content for people to enjoy at home.”

“This year, more than ever, we are so grateful to our community and students volunteers who have worked wonders creating so much great online content for people to enjoy at home.”

– Charlotte Spink

Participants are encouraged by the creators of the event to post their own Diwali creations online using #Diwali2020 on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

More information is available here.

Image: Durham University via Flickr

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