Birmingham City Council

Festivals of Our Lives Mrs Chohan

Festivals of Our Lives


Mrs Chohan

I was born in India, I not sure of the date as it was something people did not record. I came from a medium sized family. In 1945 my mum and dad moved the family to Africa. We lived in a nice house which we rented. My father had his own business where he worked as a cobbler. We lived comfortably and were able to have servants that did all the housework and looked after the gardens.

On the day of Diwali we would get up early in the morning, have a wash, get dressed in our new clothes and then let off fireworks. We would then go to the temple to pray. Mum would cook lots of different foods. She would cook one dish for the temple, which everyone brought to the temple, so we ended up with lots of different dishes that were placed in front of our Gods as offerings. This food was then distributed to all attending the temple to eat and to take home with them.

I came to Birmingham in 1968 with my husband who worked as a sales person. My first Diwali in England was quite good it was somewhat smaller than in Africa. I missed my family a lot on those days. With being in a strange country it took me a while to settle in, but every Diwali I would think about them and how we used to spend it with my brother, sister and mum and dad.

Diwali now, compared to 1968, is still celebrated in the same way except in those days we had no Temples and now we have lots of Temples that we can attend, we are also able to have the fireworks in the back garden and at the Temple.

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