Spending a major holiday in a different country is always a strange experience — a poignant reminder that you’re a visitor in someone else’s world. I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving at an Italian restaurant in Northern Iraq, Christmas over a coconut drink in Southern India and Easter in Ethiopia (subtract the chocolate and add a spray of holy water by fire hose).
These examples are exceptions in a lifetime of major holidays spent in a culture that acknowledges the sanctity of the day.
But for our region’s rapidly growing Indian American population, the desire to raise the profile of the important Hindu holiday of Diwali is increasingly urgent. Diwali officially fell last Sunday but will be celebrated through this weekend.