Celebrate the festivals responsibly
Festivals are special. For students studying abroad, they are even more so.
Living in a foreign country during the time of festivals could feel very different. People, surroundings, celebrations. They have a unique quality to it. Perhaps the locals – natives to a particular country – joining the celebrations make it uniquely different.
Students living and studying in the U.S. and U.K. especially would find a huge number of Indians, and Americans & Brits alike, to celebrate with.
There is a word of advice though – as the headline of this blog suggests – celebrate with fervor, but do so responsibly.
You are in a foreign land, celebrating a culture that does not belong to its people. Ensure that you do not offend their sensitivities. What could be innocent and innocuous for you, may not be for them.
Maintain your space and decorum while greeting and celebrating. Chances are that the ones who are not introduced to Indian festivals and celebrations may feel awkward. Show respect, and share the reason of festivities when asked. Request politely if they would like to join. Accept their denial with grace.
Under no circumstances indulge in public displays unless you have taken an official permission from the local authorities.
There could be some mischievous characters who may deliberately poke and incite, as is seen in some parts of the U.K. and Canada recently. Do not respond. And do not forget the very reason and spirit of the festival – irrespective of your religion. Remember the fact that your celebrations are in reverence of the almighty, and not to show off the pride.
Above all, spread the message of love and humanity without intruding anyone’s private space.
Here’s wishing you happy and safe festivities.