Festive cheer of Diwali

 

Sir, – There is a great deal of understandable anxiety about whether society will be able to operate more normally by Christmas.

The spirit of concern for others, and of celebrating during the depths of winter, elicit the best in us in many ways. I have heard nothing at all said about Diwali, however.

Under normal circumstances, many of the estimated 90,000 or so Indian-born people in Ireland would congregate in large numbers this weekend, making up a small part of a global celebration incorporating over a billion others.

This year such celebrations will necessarily be small, but candles will be lit, fireworks launched, the harvest acknowledged and many gods thanked this weekend.

It is fair to say that our health service has so far managed quite well in this uniquely challenging year, a time when all staff have been stretched to new limits.

Among our cosmopolitan staff, often characterised in 2020 as everyday heroes, are many from the Indian subcontinent.

As some of us worry about how or if we will get to enjoy Christmas, perhaps, despite present constraints, we should wish the many Hindus and others who will celebrate the day a happy, safe and blessed Diwali this weekend. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O’BRIEN,

Kinsale, Co Cork.