Diwali promises celebration and treats at Indian supermarket Namaste in Windsor
When Neha Modh dresses her Windsor home in bright, shimmering decorations to mark Diwali, she says, she is transported to childhood memories.
Diwali is a holiday celebrated around the world. It’s a harvest festival, also called the festival of lights, and it started in India. It is also an important religious festival for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs.
In some communities, rows of lamps called deepavali can be seen inside and outside homes and buildings to mark the occasion. The lights represent the triumph of light over darkness and the power of good over evil.
« It’s just one more opportunity to get together with your friends and family, » Neha said.
For me, Diwali is about trying new things on sweets and welcoming friends.— Neha Modh, co-owner of Namaste Indian Supermarket
« Besides that, you get a chance to decorate your house in the Indian way. Children get to know about your culture and traditions, which brings back all childhood memories to them. »
For over a year, Modh has run the Namaste Indian Supermarket on Walker Road with her husband, Parimal Parikh.
Even more exciting than the promise of family reunions and celebrations, Modh said, is the festival’s guarantee of delicious traditional sweets.
“For me, Diwali is trying new things on sweets and welcoming friends,” she said.
For the past few weeks, the couple have been busy baking special sweets for the festival, which falls on October 24 and ushers in a new year on October 25 for many South Asians.
In addition to a range of traditional South Asian desserts, Neha said the supermarket also offers a variety of sweets that fuse Indian and North American tastes, such as cheesecake made with gulab jamun (delicious sweet balls the size of a berry made from milk solids and flour).
Parikh said the store made between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds of sweets for customers during the festival.
« Anything we can do to make them feel special or make them feel at home. That’s what we do, » he said.
« We celebrate this occasion for about nine to ten days at our house. Here we try to celebrate it as much as possible. »
Parikh said that although the couple tries to make sure there are enough sweets for Diwali, the stock sometimes runs out quickly.
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