Celebrating Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights #メルカリな日々

नमस्ते (Greetings)! I’m suzumari from the PR Team.

The other day, one of my coworkers from India told me I should check out the office party for Diwali. “What’s Diwali…?” I thought to myself, but decided to head over to the party and check it out...

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...and found tons of Indian snacks, candy, chai tea, and lassi!

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It turns out Diwali is the largest festival in India, somewhat like New Year’s in Japan. It’s customary to prepare for Diwali by cleaning the house, and people usually wear brand-new clothes to celebrate. During the festival, friends and family gather to eat sweet candy.

After I asked my coworker what all the different kinds of sweets were, I tried a few myself. They were really sweet! My favorite was one that was like a donut soaked in condensed milk.

After a few minutes of eating sweets, there was a presentation about Hindu legends associated with Diwali.

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The legend starts with the Hindu deities prince Rama and his wife exiled to the forest as a result of a family member’s plot. While living in the forest, his wife gets kidnapped by a demon king, but the prince battles the demon king to take her back. In the end, the prince and his wife return to India after 14 years of exile in the forest. The celebration of their return is said to be the origin of Diwali.

I asked the organizer, Jatin, how this event came to be at Mercari.

Jatin: Diwali is the largest festival in India. Tradition calls for lighting candles and setting off firecrackers, but we can’t really do that in the office…[laughs] Instead, we prepared some sweets for everyone. Now that we have so many members from India at Mercari, we decided to host a Diwali event. I’m happy everyone liked the sweets and tea! I’d like to organize more events to deepen everyone’s understanding of various cultures in the future.

Thanks, Jatin! I can’t wait to see what other countries and cultures Mercari will have events for in the future.

At the end of the event, we took a group picture with everyone wearing traditional outfits from India.

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