LESSON 17 of 30
in our Travel Lessons Photo Series
CELEBRATE EVERYONE'S CULTURE
Last Diwali, Karthik (guy closest to camera) and I conspired to head to Varanasi in India and somehow find a local family to celebrate with. We were fascinated with the idea of celebrating an Indian festival with Indians in India. We gave ourselves 4 days to find a local family who will take us into their home.
We stayed at a hostel there and navigated the streets. Varanasi was chaotic and hectic. As expected. The Indians were busy preparing for Diwali and we were looking for a friendly host.
Wasn't easy but we found one and he not only let us into his home but also let us invite our other friends from the guesthouse. The guy who invited us took this picture and he was such a gem of a person. This picture was our dining table that Diwali night!
Celebrating with the Indians that day taught us something important. Every culture, religion, nation in the world celebrates certain special occassions. These might be different from yours or some might even be considered pagan rituals that don't deserve to exist.
Whatever these celebrations might be, a common thread runs through them all. Yes all of them. They all center on universal human experiences of love, sadness, joy, good over evil, success and sacrifice. They celebrate the existence of us humans!
So in the future when we happen to come across a celebration different from ours whilst on travels, via our neighbours and friends or being organized in our community - we'll be open-minded and go and celebrate. We know we will definitely have a good time, we will learn and we will acknowledge these universal human emotions/experiences that we all have in common but celebrate differently. We will even go out of our way to celebrate. It's worth it.