Restaurant plays central role in Diwali celebration

The Indian Flame on Main serves up traditional IndoCanadian food to the South Okanagan community. Now, it is serving up tradition as well.

Tuesday and Wednesday, the restaurant celebrated Dawali, a two-day festival of lights celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere.

“At the restaurant, it’s our first year, so we started small,” said Indian Flame owner and manager Kuldeep Rai. “We did the colourful decorations, lighting and traditional meal.”

A visit to the restaurant reveals new colourful fabrics and servers and other employees dressed in traditional garb. Candles are lined up on mantles and counters.

“Dawali is more colourful. We wear colourful clothes, decorations are more colourful, lighting is colourful, candles are colourful,” said Mrs. Rai.

The celebration stems from the 17th-century release of Guru Hargobind and 52 rajas from a Muslim jail and their return home.

“All the villages, they were so happy their family were rescued,” explained Mrs. Rai. “Every house was lit up with colourful lights. They decorated their houses to show their happiness. They were happy that their families were home.”

Today, for Sikhs and Hindus, Diwali emphasizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.”

Rows of lamps or candles are lit and a traditional meal is prepared and served.

The restaurant hopes to add more to the celebration next year.

“We wanted to do fireworks, but we have to get permission from the Town. I got really good feedback this year, so next year we’re going to do a little more.

The restaurant, located at  8515 Main Street in Osoyoos.

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