Residents at Austen House in Lower Earley, Reading had a brilliant day celebrating the start of the Hindu festival of Diwali, popularly known as the ‘festival of lights’.
Residents helped with making colourful patterned rangoli and lighting ‘diyas’, small oil lamps which are lit to signify the triumph of good over evil. Diwali honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, the lamps help Lakshmi find her way into people’s homes.
After we decorated some areas of our home with lights and colourful fabrics, we had a wonderful party, where we enjoyed listening to live traditional music by Ratna and dancing with a Bollywood dance teacher, Asha from local community. Some of our residents and staff dressed up for the occasion and had fun joining in with the singing and dancing.
Head chef Ainsworth Brown prepared traditional Indian dishes including a range of warming curries, spicy samosas, crispy bhajis and papadums with lime pickle and chutneys followed by traditional Indian sweets such as laddoo and barfi for the residents and relatives to enjoy.
Norma a resident at Austen House commented: “I love all of the different cultural events that we celebrate here, there’s always something going on. I especially like the religious festivals from other cultures and sampling the wonderful food. It makes me feel like I am travelling abroad!”
Joleen Leung, Operations Manager at Austen House, said: “To celebrate Diwali at the home was fantastic, the colourful glow of the lamps created a very wonderful atmosphere and our chef made the most delicious dishes – everyone had a fantastic time.”