Monday, October 23, 2006

Diwali (aka Deepavali)

“festival of lights” in the Hindu faith.

It celebrates several important events in their mythology, but the “lights” part comes from celebrating the “inner light” which is a pivotal part of the Hindu faith.

Our Hindu neighbours had a Diwali party on Saturday night, setting off cracker after cracker, scaring the bejeesus out of out poor dogs.

I see no reason why it should be celebrated with fireworks. Sure, there are pretty lights and all, but the loud bangs are not part of the celebration, and they are the part that is problematic. In the 21st century there is absolutely no excuse for setting off explosives in a high-density residential area that is populated not only by many non-Hindu humans, but also by several species of domestic animals, some of which have far more sensitive hearing than we have.

If you want to celebrate light, get some lights. You can get some nifty ones too… strings of colour-changing lights like the ones Christians use to decorate trees at Christmas. Get laser pointers and all sorts of cool little light-emitting toys and baubles that don’t make a sound… they can be bought at just about any toy shop for far less than the cost of a box of fireworks. And they are legal and are not antisocial.

I’m not just bashing Hindus here. The same goes everyone who likes to set off explosives at Guy Fawkes Day and New Years Eve.

We haven’t been a British colony for decades now. Why the hell are we still celebrating Guy Fawkes Day? And New Years’ Eve… not a year goes by without the news telling us of far too many injuries and even deaths resulting from shitfaced macho-men trying to use deadly weapons “safely”.

It clearly isn’t enough to ban these things. There needs to be far more police enforcement of it. And it’s not exactly difficult, either: just drive around residential areas on those nights and look for flares… follow the flare and slap on the cuffs.

It’s not rocket-science!