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When I was a kid, Diwali for me meant bursting loads of firecrackers with my cousins and eating tonnes of sweets.
Now that I think about it, it was the luxury of my childhood innocence and better air quality that I could afford to light so many phool jhadis and rockets. It is true that crackers have become a social norm for Diwali and as a child (or even as an adult for some) messing with paper full of flash powder can be quite thrilling.
But as I was growing up, my personal traditions for Diwali kept changing.
What earlier was all about watching pretty lights blow up in the sky was now about decorating the house, Indian attires, and Diwali parties with my friends and family.
How It Has Changed?
I first stopped subscribing to the custom of bursting crackers because the noise pollution started bothering me, my dog hated it too! It started seeming like a waste of energy for discomfort to your ears and animals around you.
When I became more socially aware and discovered that thousands of children are made to work in a factory under dangerous circumstances just so that other privileged kids can have some fun, I completely refrained from even touching it, even though it was a struggle to stop other people from bursting them.
Meanwhile, the idea of fun also changed for me. Now I like to eat sweets in fancy clothes and drink and dine with my friends for fun, earlier I wouldn’t even have come inside the house on the day of Diwali.
My childhood Diwali memories were full of crackers but I hope that it changes for other kids in the future, for the better. Crackers were never a prescribed tradition, our association of Diwali with firecrackers is just a marketing miracle.
Now with AQI of the whole of India depleting every day, especially in the metropolitan cities, it’s high time that we render this cracker culture obsolete.
It is stupid — lightening up the sky one night only to grapple with darker days due to smog.
With the change in times, we can introduce new rituals that are more eco-friendly.
I promise you, Diwali will still be a wholesome festival nevertheless, even without the crackers.
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This post is tagged under: Diwali, bursting crackers, firecrackers, lights, traditions, customs, rituals, festival, childhood, memories, air pollution, AQI, eco-friendly