Sunday, 3 December 2017

Advent 2017 Day 3 - Diwali celebrations

I worked in Leicester for about 7 years at one point, and my wife hails from just outside the city. Despite my close connection to the city for some reason I had never gone to the annual Diwali festival, which is the biggest Hindu festival outside India.

This year however it fell on my birthday, and I resolved to go with my wife and youngest daughter (my eldest was already at Leicester university, but student socializing and the risks of being seen with her father, meant she decided to go later ).

To those who don't know it, Leicester sometimes gets a bad press, and yes it has to be said it is not necessarily the prettiest of cities. However I have always found it a fantastically vibrant and the melting pot of cultures goes a long way in driving that.

I wasn't sure what the festival would be like. Would I, a patently Caucasian  non-Hindu be welcome? Will be so alien I would be left gasping like some grounded fish?

As it was it was none of these. It was a party that all could join in and while some sights left you struggling to gain cultural insights, it was generally a joy to visit are partake.

In a a world where tolerance of differences and multiculturalism seem to be dirty worlds, it was a fantastic example of where acceptance and celebration of cultural differences rather than fear and intolerance made the world a better place.

 In terms of photography however it was a pretty disappointing night. I wanted to try my hand at street photography. Top tip guys. Street photography and towing your families along does not mix.

Not only that but the light was pretty poor, meaning I had to resort to the in-camera flash

However this shot stood out to me and summed up Diwali. It was taken late on. Although it looks posed, it was just taken with flash as I walked along and caught a young family eating a snack.

The thing I like about it, is that it represent a snapshot of the festival and the  mix of cultures.  It sums up for me the wonderful mix of cultures during the Diwali celebration which makes Leicester so special.

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