Traditions: The Indian chamber brought the international community together over the weekend to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
Photo: Steve Eastwood
Saturday saw the 7th annual Diwali celebration organised by the Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg. Taking place at the Chapito Casino 2000 in Mondorf, 520 guests and members gathered for one of the biggest celebrations in the Indian calendar.
Sudhir K. Kohli, president of the chamber, made a point to pay respect to the victims of the Paris massacre on Friday evening: “During Diwali, we celebrate light and peace, family and togetherness but we also celebrate hope over despair.”
The opening speech continued with explanations of the spiritual significance of Diwali, he said: “it is also about unity and togetherness, and here in Luxembourg we really focus on the integration and relationship between India and Luxembourg.”
The evening was quite a sensory experience. Guests were dressed in vibrant national costume; lively music and performances filled the room throughout the evening; while the pungent smell of a long buffet table stretched across the middle of the entire room.
With at least a quarter of the invited guests consisting of children, the evening was without a doubt, a celebration for all. “Diwali is not just about having fun it is also a time to celebrate family so we really wanted the kids to enjoy themselves too. So we arranged a crèche for them in a large adjoining room,” said Lydia Matveeva, coordinator at the IBCL.
It was also a fascinating event for those who were not usually part of the Indian community too. Bex Williams, from New Zealand, attended with her 6 year old daughter. “We’re fascinated by the dance, the music and the culture so we decided to come with some friends and we’re definitely coming back next year! What a party!”
Feeling part of the community
Despite the party atmosphere, it was also a great evening to strengthen business connections too. Jean Jacques Schonckert, who attended with his daughter, said: “I’m not Indian but I’ve been part of this community from the very beginning when I was first introduced to Kohli by someone in my industry. These types of social activities are fun and exciting but also great for business.”
If celebrations and emphasis on togetherness and family were any indication, it would appear that the evening was a great success. Henry and Patrizia, who attended with friends told Delano: “the Indian culture is so much about family, even when they go to the store to buy a fridge, the whole family is there to choose it together. In a country like Luxembourg, where many of us are away from our families, our community becomes our family and you can really see that here tonight.”
Kohli was delighted with the turnout and shared with Delano that there are little details that contribute to the success of the evening: “the music and dance for example move through the decades. Each song and performance is representative of a different time and era. We start 50 years ago and we will end with something current and popular today. It is details like these, that make the difference.”