Diwali, Going Back In Time
How times have changed!
Here I share my story of Diwali, going back in time.
Since I was a young girl, Diwali always meant family time. We used to visit family, eat copious amounts of nasto and mithai (Indian savouries and sweets), and it was the perfect time to meet all my cousins and get up to mischief.
Growing up in a western society life generally takes over, and before you know it, you’re stuck in the working world where taking a day off during the week to celebrate this festive period becomes a rare occasion. Spending weekends making traditional food becomes a chore when everything is readily available from the local supermarket.
And trying to make the ’rounds’ lasts for months as everyone becomes busy in their own little worlds. The number of Diwali cards delivered by post reduces every year as we evolve in the world of e-cards and emails. Spending the entire morning calling your distant relatives to wish them a “Happy New Year” gets replaced by an impersonal forwarded whatsapp message.
The weeks leading upto Diwali celebrations were always exciting. I used to come home from school to the aromas of mum cooking nasto. The weekend was all about getting the house tidy and helping mum in the kitchen frying or mixing yet another dish. I used to love visiting family just so I could taste their versions of different sweets and nasto.. And here we are today in a health conscious world, where our choice of food intake is governed by health issues, allergies and westernised taste buds.
I’ve always been creative. Especially during the Diwali festival as I could go crazy with decorating the house with rangoli patterns, brightly coloured material (normally picked from my mum’s sari collection), displaying all of the Diwali cards in a geometric pattern on the wall and even creating my own hand made Diwali cards using beads, glitter and Ganesh motifs. As much as time has changed, we never forget that Diwali is the festival of light. Candles burn in thousands of homes celebrating the festive occasion but it was once merely a simple white tealight which you could pick up a pack of 100 from places like VB & Sons or IKEA for as little as a £1. Look at the variety we have on offer now. Floating, scented, personalised, coloured, hand decorated. The list is endless.
The simplest and best gift when I was a young girl was money. ‘Make sure you don’t buy too many sweets’ is what I used to get told when I’d be given a few pound coins in my hand. I had to hide this from my mum before she’d tell me to give it back! The great thing about being the youngest child was the look of jealousy on my siblings faces as I got all the gifts when visiting family at Diwali. . Times have moved on since then. There seems to be more excitement in giving gifts to family members which can be anything from a box of sweets to money in an envelope. Children are gifting their friends at school or their teachers, we are gifting our neighbours and work colleagues. And the range of gifts become more creative each year.
This has been a very busy period for Black Qubd. It gave us the perfect opportunity to collaborate yet again with other small businesses and offer something different to your loved ones.
Back in the day, running your own business was all about survival. The endless hours, early morning market runs, buying stock from the cash and carry and so on. A lot of the shops run by Asians were eventually taken over when the big supermarket brands opened up express versions in every town possible. Although some things still haven’t changed. There are many people who run their little empires from home whilst still working full time or looking after their children. They still work endless hours and struggle to find ideas, marketing strategies and products to gain exposure for their brand.
For me, I want to inspire and help those businesses by sharing my stories, experience and more importantly collaborating. When you collaborate, you give each other’s businesses the exposure across your social media platforms. This results in gaining more customers through the sales of the combined gift sets. It’s not about competition! It’s about helping each other grow your businesses, gain new customers and increase your followers and likes. In 2018, we were given the opportunity to complete 70 gift hampers for Indiacast. They run the TV channels Rishtey and Colours. This gave a few small businesses the opportunity to join forces and collaborate. This resulted in creating a unique hamper exclusively for the client. This one client order provided 6 small businesses brand exposure to 70 new clients. Imagine the impact an order like this can have on a small business.
So next time you are thinking of buying a gift, think about how unique the collaboration gift set is. How many small businesses are you supporting with your purchase? Our gift sets are not available on the high street and are carefully thought about to bring you something different. They are funky and definitely a talking point.
I want to thank Chinskitchen, Purple Mill and MBOS London for making Diwali 2018 more special for Black Qubd.