Discover more from One little anthro
Muse #287 - cultural distance of the global kind
Today is Diwali, or to be more accurate Deepavali as they call in my local language in Tamilnadu. It is the day in Hindu mythology where God won over the evil Naragasura. It is also the start of the Hindu new year in some communities and also the closure and opening of accounting books associated with the new year from an accounting perspective. Also, a time to make food, eat a ton of sweets, be merry, and burst a lot of crackers and fireworks.
But then, again all culture is local. That does mellow down the real fervor and experience of Deepavali here in Canada. It is another working day with a few things wrapped around it. There is a little bit of food, a little bit of celebration, a lot of Whatsapp messages, global long-distance calls talking to family all across the world, but a poor substitute to the local experience. It is certainly not the same.
Religion, ceremonies, practices, and rituals generally make meaning only in their original context. It is a struggle to replicate these local contexts in a global setting. Therefore, I for one feel more integrated with practices like Halloween and Christmas which has now become part of my experiences integrated with so many people who either celebrate them or end up participating in some way in the spirit of these holiday events. And eventually, we are social animals, exhibiting social behavior. Driven by fitting in with “people like me” and “people like us”
And when in Rome, it makes sense to be like a Roman…