Diwali 2018 – A Glimpse of our Pluralistic Democracy – ENCORE

Happy Diwali!

As the clay pots are lit from the villages to the center centers, the Festival of Lights is about to begin. Diwali is one of the biggest and brightest holidays celebrated all across India and the U.S. each year. Fireworks, song and prayer fill the five-day festival to celebrate inner light over spiritual darkness.

Today and always, we honor the many cultures and traditions among our beautifully diverse global organization. As we join in celebrating Diwali, we hope you enjoy this special time with friends and family.

May the divine light of Diwali shine with peace, prosperity, happiness and good health in your life. Happy Diwali.

Signed: The Technology Leadership Team and Saul Van Beurden, CIO, JPMorganChase Consumer & Community Bank

Today is the start of Diwali 2018.

This is one of the biggest holidays for a the global Hindu community. That is the population of India and the Indian Diaspora. That Diaspora includes the Caribbean. JPMorganChase, Americas largest bank, has a large staff based in India. They are a pluralistic corporation; they obviously want their team members to feel honored in their institution.

We want our Caribbean brothers and sisters with Indian heritage to feel that they are honored here in their Caribbean homeland. This was addressed in a previous Go Lean commentary on October 19, 2017. It is appropriate to Encore that submission here-now:


Go Lean Commentary Respecting Diwali – Making a Pluralistic Democracy

CU Blog - Respecting Diwali - Making a Pluralistic Democracy - Photo 3What is the ethnic composition of the Caribbean?

Not a singularity!

Our quest now is to make the Caribbean a Single Market and a “Pluralistic Democracy”. This means a society where the many different ethnic groups (and religions) have respect, equal rights, equal privileges and equal protections under the law; where there are no superior rights to any majority and no special deprivations to any minority. The expectation is for anyone person to be treated like everyone else. The legal definition of Pluralism as a political philosophy is as follows …

… the recognition and affirmation of diversity within a political body, which permits the peaceful coexistence of different interests, convictions and lifestyles.[1] While not all political pluralists advocate for a pluralist democracy, this is most common as democracy is often viewed as the most fair and effective way to moderate between the discrete values.[2]Wikipedia

This vision of a Caribbean “Pluralistic Democracy” should be more than words; it must be action too!

Yet we fail so miserably in respecting non-standard traditions. The truth of the matter is that while religious toleration appears to be high in the Caribbean, this is really only true of European-styled Christian faiths. Other non-White religious traditions (let’s consider Hindu) are often ignored or even ridiculed in open Caribbean society, despite the large number of adherents. Of the 30 member-states to comprise the Caribbean Single Market, 3 of them have a large Indian-Hindu ethnicity. As a result, in these communities, though lowly promoted, one of the biggest annual celebrations for those communities is Diwali or Divali:

Diwali (or Deepavali) is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere (spring in southern hemisphere).[4][5] It is an official holiday in Fiji, Guyana, India,[6] Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.[7][8][9] Its celebration includes millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries where it is observed.[10] The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five-day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the dark night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika in Bikram Sambat calendar (the month of Aippasi in Tamil Calendar), on the 15th of the month. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.[11]

Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices.[12] On Diwali night, people dress up in new clothes or their best outfits, light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and outside their home, participate in family puja (prayers) typically to Lakshmi – the goddess of fertility and prosperity. After puja, fireworks follow,[13] then a family feast including mithai (sweets), and an exchange of gifts between family members and close friends. Deepavali also marks a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated.[14]

The name of festive days as well as the rituals of Diwali vary significantly among Hindus, based on the region of India. – Wikipedia.

See the VIDEO’s in the Appendix below.

While Diwali is a religious celebration, many aspects of this culture spills-over to general society; see the detailed plans of a previous year (2009) in Appendix A below. This celebration, in many ways, is similar to Christmas spilling-over to non-Christian people in Christian countries. So the festivities carry a heavy civic-cultural “feel” as opposed to religious Hindu adherence. Plus, these values here are positive community ethos that any stewards in any society would want to promote:

“the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair”.

This year Diwali is celebrated between October 18 – 22, 2017. It is a public holiday only for Wednesday October 18 in Trinidad and Guyana; plus on Thursday October 19 in Suriname.

This celebration of Diwali is only MEDIUM in these 3 Caribbean member-states; but with the proper fostering it could be BIG; it could be an impactful event! Imagine Event Tourism targeted to the 1.2 Billion people of the emerging economy of India; plus the 35 million people in the Indian Diaspora world-wide.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean presents the advocacy of Event Tourism (Page 191). This is fundamental to elevating Caribbean society to be a better place to live, work and play; (or live, work and pray). The Go Lean book – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all 30 member-states – to foster a “Pluralistic Democracy”. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean roadmap posits that events can be fostered so as to better impact the economic, security and governing engines of society. This was this declaration from a previous blog-commentary, that touristic events could be so much more lucrative, if only there was a whole-souled commitment by the full community – everyone show respect. Think of the success in Sturgis, South Dakota where a small town of 10,000 hosts up to 600,000 visitors (Page 288). Imagine the economic impact!

The movement behind the Go Lean book has repeatedly related that there is a need for new stewardship of the Caribbean tourism apparatus. The world has changed; our target markets have changed. We cannot just advertise to the Northeast corner of North America for the peak winter season (January & February) anymore. No we must now look to alternate markets and target alternate calendar days so as to expand our product offering.

Imagine the prospect of marketing Diwali – see VIDEO’s below – usually in the tourist-slow month of October.

Beautiful Sky Lantern

This is what is needed to expand the region economically. There is no longer the need for tourism stewards to just “rub shoulders” with travel agents, but rather, there is the need for e-Commerce strategies and tactics (think: Search Engines Optimization) and for efficient execution of events. Welcome to Technocracy 101.

A previous blog-commentary (from September 15, 2015) regarding Tourism Stewardship related these details:

The book Go Lean…Caribbean calls for the elevation of Caribbean society, to re-focus, re-boot, and optimize all the engines of commerce so as to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.  The category of “play” covers the full scope of tourism, which is the primary economic driver for our Caribbean region; the book estimates 80 million visitors among the region. (Since that number includes cruise passengers that may visit multiple Caribbean islands on one itinerary, each port is counted separately; without cruise passengers, a figure of 68 – 69 million is perhaps more accurate).

This commentary is a consideration of tourism, not travel. Tourism is a subset of the travel eco-system, so any Agent of Change in the world of travel must be carefully considered on tourism, on Caribbean tourism. …

The Go Lean book considers these Agents of Change (Page 57) that have dynamically affected the Caribbean economic eco-systems:

  • Technology
  • Globalization
  • Aging Diaspora
  • Climate Change

Technology, the Internet-Communications-Technology (ICT) in particular has furnished alternative and better options for travel enterprises to find passengers-guests-travelers-tourists…. Travel agents are now inconsequential. ….

The book Go Lean…Caribbean and the underlying movement seeks to re-boot the strategies and tactics of tourism marketing for the entire Caribbean region. The book asserts Caribbean member-states must expand and optimize their tourism outreach but that the requisite investment of the resources (time, talent, treasuries) for this goal may be too big for any one Caribbean member-state … alone. Rather, shifting the responsibility to a region-wide, professionally-managed, deputized technocracy will result in greater production and greater accountability. This deputized agency is the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The book thereafter introduces the CU and provides a roadmap for its implementation into a Single Market for the Caribbean economy … and tourism marketing.

The goal of the CU is to bring the proper tools and techniques to the Caribbean region to optimize the stewardship of the economic, security and governing engines.  The book posits that the economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, with technocratic management and stewardship better than the status quo. While the goal of the roadmap is to pursue a diversification strategy, the reality is that tourism will continue to be the primary economic driver in the region for the foreseeable future. The publisher of the book Go Lean…Caribbean convenes the talents and skill-sets of movers-and-shakers in electronic commerce [and project management] so as to forge the best tools and techniques for this new ICT-based marketing.

Lessons need to be learned from the execution of events in these Hindu-populated Caribbean countries. Can the Caribbean flare of a dynamic Hindu culture be exploited further for global marketing and appeal? The Hindu Diaspora is huge, comprising sizeable populations in many countries, including BIG numbers (millions) here:

Australia Nepal
Canada Saudi Arabia
Fiji Singapore
India South Africa
Ireland Sri Lanka
Malaysia United Arab Emirates
Mauritius United Kingdom
Myanmar United States

This is the charter of the Go Lean roadmap, to deploy the technocratic administration to optimize Caribbean Event Tourism. The Go Lean book specifically details the community ethos Caribbean communities need to adopt to be successful in Event Tourism; plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to ensure successful deployments; see a sample here:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Intellectual Property Page 29
Community Ethos – Ways to Bridge the Digital Divide Page 31
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-Arounds Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness Page 36
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederate 30 Member-States Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Celebrate the Music, Sports, Art and Culture of the Caribbean Page 46
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers – CU Federal Agencies versus Member-State Governments Page 71
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region Page 127
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Lessons from Omaha – College World Series Model Page 138
Advocacy – Ways to Enhance Tourism Page 190
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Events Page 191
Advocacy – Ways to Promote Fairgrounds Page 192
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to Improve the Arts Page 230
Advocacy – Ways to Promote Music Page 231
Appendix – Case Study of “The Rally” in Sturgis, South Dakota Page 288

In summary, the Caribbean is in good position to show respect to the Indian-Hindu community and their Festival of Lights – Diwali. In doing so, we double-down on our quest to be a “Pluralistic Democracy” and optimize our economic engines for Event Tourism.

 “Make happy those who are near, and those are far will come” – Chinese Proverb.

What a contrast this is to the Climate of Hate that is so prevalent in so many Caribbean communities, towards people who are different or hold alternative viewpoints.

Yes, the Go Lean roadmap is different … and better.

It seeks to unite the people of the entire Caribbean region, diversify the regional economy (to create new 2.2 million jobs) and make our communities better places to live, work and play. This is why we have a quest for a “Pluralistic Democracy”. This is Part 1 of 3 in the series on this topic; the full collection is as follows:

  1. Making a “Pluralistic Democracy” – Respect for Diwali
  2. Making a “Pluralistic Democracy” – Freedom of Movement
  3. Making a “Pluralistic Democracy” – Multilingual Realities

Now is the time for all stakeholders in the Caribbean – governments, residents, religious devotee (Hindus, Christians, etc.), event planners, participants and tourists – to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap. We can do better and be better. This quest for a “Pluralistic Democracy” is conceivable, believable and achievable. 🙂

Download the free e-book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for the roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix A – Divali Festival in Trinidad and Tobago

By: Dr. Kumar Mahabir

Pakistani Hindu women light earthen lampTrinidad and Tobago is the land of Carnival, steel band, tassa, calypso and chutney. It is the same country that gives the world its unique brand of Divali. Indeed, the Hindu Festival of Lights has become Trinidad’s second largest national open-air festival after Carnival. Divali is a welcomed alternative to the rambunctious indulgence in meat, alcohol, party and “wine,” and is arguably the largest vegetarian alcohol-free festival in the Caribbean, if not the western hemisphere. Divali is an event that the Ministry of Tourism can market as a major attraction in the fastest-growing worldwide trend of spiritual tourism.

Divali is the defining event that marks Trinidad as a multi-religious, multi-ethnic society with Hindus comprising the second largest religious group (24 percent) after Roman Catholics in the twin-island population of 1.3 million people. While Divali is essentially a Hindu festival, people of all faiths actively join in celebrating the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. Non-Hindu adherents are attracted to the festival’s universal message as well as to the extravaganza that is not only unique but also provides a clean environment for the cultivation of a healthy body, mind and soul.

Nowhere else in the world do non-Hindus and non-Indians actively take part in the lighting of over 10 million deyas on a single night in the year. These tiny clay lamps are lit in homes, yards, streets, offices, public parks and playing fields. It is perhaps only in Trinidad that one can find split bamboo tubes transformed into magnificent works of art on which the deyas are placed. The split bamboo strips reach out toward neighboring houses, streets and communities to symbolize the popular local mantra “all ah we is one.”

The eagerness to decorate is everywhere, and payment is the pride of the finished product. Streamers of all colors and patterns are made with kite paper and plastic and strung from jhandi [flag] poles. Brightly colored fabric, balloons and bulbs decorate homes, offices and stages. Indeed, it is Divali that heralds the joy of the end-of-year celebrations. Strings of twinkling lights—clear and colored—are strung high on buildings, trees, and even across streets. Effigies of Mother Lakshmi are made from bamboo tubes and large cardboard cutouts. Calligraphy on signs and banners glitters with decorative paint. The starry designs of deyas and bulbs transform simple houses into magical kingdoms.

The nights are filled with free public performances in public parks and playing fields. Divali provides the perfect forum for showcasing the talent of both foreign and local performers in Indian song, music, dance and drama. Fashion shows are the highlight of all celebrations. Indeed, no celebration is considered complete or magnificent without a fashion show that is always eagerly anticipated by all. Indians in the Caribbean keep the tradition of Indian fashion alive by wearing dhotis, kurtas, Nehru jackets, saris, shalwars, nose-pins, necklaces, bangles, anklets, eyeliners, mehendi markings and forehead tikkas/bindis. Most Divali celebrations end with a competition for women in the crowd who vie to be the best-dressed fashion finalist. A Divali Queen is not only bestowed with a crown, but she is also showered with gifts and prizes.

Divali also boasts of Ram Leela/Lila, which is perhaps the oldest living form of outdoor folk theatre in the Caribbean. The worship of Rama takes many forms, but community devotion [Ramayana yagna] outside the temple has the most public impact. During Divali, tons of sweetmeats like parsad, kurma, burfi, pera, ladoo, jalebi, gulab jamoon and kheer [sweet rice] are made and distributed free.

Indian trade fairs during Divali have become the shopping hotspots for women who flock to the sites in thousands to buy mainly clothes and accessories. A kind of dizzy euphoria can also be seen in any one of the Indian apparel stores in the countdown to Divali. It is all part of the excitement that hums through the air during this pre-Christmas celebration as women try to dress their best and stores try to outsell one another. More than men, women dress in their finest traditional Indian wear with matching jewelry, as models of grace and elegance.

The hub of all Divali celebrations in the island is Divali Nagar in central Trinidad. Indeed, the Nagar is the most frequented entertainment center in the country during Divali, second only to the Grand Stand in the Queen’s Park Savannah during Carnival. The grand display of fireworks in the air at the entertainment park resonates with the thunder of bamboo cannons, the explosions of firecrackers, and the sparkle of “star-lights” in villages across the country. On Divali night, thousands of people take to the streets on foot and in vehicles to behold houses and communities that look like an illuminated fairyland.

Divali will be celebrated as a national holiday in Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, October 17 [2009].

Dr. Kumar Mahabir is the chairman of the Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council and assistant professor at the University of Trinidad and Tobago.

Source: Posted October 14, 2009; retrieved October 19, 2017 from: http://www.worldpress.org/Americas/3437.cfm


Appendix B VIDEO – Diwali – Festival of Lights | National Geographic – https://youtu.be/HrrW3rO51ak

Published on May 19, 2010 – In India, one of the most significant festivals is Diwali, or the Festival of Lights. It’s a five day celebration that includes good food, fireworks, colored sand, and special candles and lamps.
Diwali – Festival of Lights | National Geographic https://youtu.be/HrrW3rO51ak

National Geographic https://www.youtube.com/natgeo


Appendix C VIDEO – Diwali – The Festival of Lights – https://youtu.be/mPwmXRws7FA


Published on May 30, 2013 – Diwali is certainly one of the biggest, brightest and most important festivals of India. While Diwali is popularly known as the “festival of lights”. The celebration of Diwali as the “victory of good over evil” refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance. While the story behind Diwali and the manner of celebration of the festival differ greatly depending on the region, the essence of the festival remains the same – the celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness. …

  • Category: Travel & Events
  • License: Standard YouTube License
Share this post:
, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *