By Ilona Bini Cijevschi, Italian participant on boarding program hosted at Varanasi

“Diwali is the festival of lights. It brings happiness, prosperity and a new beginning as in some religions it is also celebrated as new year.

Diwali was a very significant festival in my experience as I felt a part of the family during the preparations and functions of the family together we have cleaned our respective rooms and decorated the whole house with flowers, Diyas and small ornaments to light the house and make it prettier for Diwali. The house had to be clean and look beautiful so that Goddess Laxmi brings prosperity and joy it is the festival that brings the family closer.

I know that in Diwali new clothes had to be worn but I was pleasant surprised when my mother bought me a beautiful dress and a pair of earrings I was grateful by this act. I really enjoyed spending time with my host family.

I felt more connected and have got the knowledge of the reach Indian culture. Diwali gave an impact on my life that how we do connect with everyone in family because of this beautiful festival of lights.”