Sunday, November 8, 2015

Diwali in Douala


    Diwali, or the festival of lights, is an ancient Indian (Hindu) festival celebrated in autumn every year.  Diwali is one of the largest and brightest festivals in India.  


      However, in Cameroon, the Indian community celebrates with dinner and dancing, along with colorful outfits and family gatherings. 


    We were fortunate enough to be invited to celebrate Diwali at a local Indian restaurant, Bombay Masala.  


    We love Indian food, so it was a chance to eat and visit with friends.  
    An American friend had a sari for me to wear and an Indian friend came by to show me how to drape the scarf and to make sure that we were outfitted appropriately.  
    Another Indian friend brought Charles a tunic to wear, which he thought was very comfortable.  
    We met friends at Bombay Masala at 9pm.  By 10pm, dancing had begun and  the women especially enjoyed it.  I loved seeing all the beautiful colors and outfits!  I also enjoyed seeing the children participate in the celebration.  
    Appetizers were served around 11:00 pm while everyone continued dancing.  

    Dinner was (FINALLY) served at midnight.  
    It was wonderful and included a good variety of salads.  

    Dal, mutton, chicken, a variety of curry dishes and rice were some of the choices available.   We tried a little bit of everything and liked it ALL.   There were also some sweets to end the meal (at 1am).  
    Around 1:30am or so, the raffles began.   Thirty-two tickets were drawn and we didn't win a thing.  However, our friends won a very nice home entertainment system.  

    The evening ended for us around 2:30 am but others were still dancing.   It was a great evening and a fun way to get involved with other expats in Douala.  

    For us, part of the fun of being an expat is learning and participating in new cultures.  We are thankful for the opportunity to have so many varied experiences.  


    Diwali usually ends with fireworks and we have seen the celebrations from afar for years.  The actual date of Diwali is November 11th, so we will look forward to  fireworks on that day.