5th April, 9 pm. Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi invoked the 1.3 billion Indians to show solidarity & unity in these challenging times, to support and motivate all the corona warriors and to make the difficult time a little more positive. And that invocation was to light a lamp.
The 1.3 billion people of India from all corners, cities, vilages switched off their home lights and lit the traditional earthen oil lamps or candles just like the festival of lights “Diwali” which is one of the most significant festivals of India. People also lit the flash lights of their mobile phones. People came out on their balconies and gardens maintaining social distancing. The skyline of cities like Mumbai and Delhi shone with glittering lights of lamps spreading an ethereal aura of positivity and excitement amongst the people during this depressing time of the pandemic.
On the other hand, the Indians in Hungary too showed their solidarity and togetherness and lit lamps and candles in their homes. On this occasion the Amrita Sher-Gil Cultural Center released a motivational video of Indians joining in this ‘ Light A Lamp’ campaign.
Thousands of Indians living here are following social distancing, staying at home and working from home. They connect with their families through social media and participate in online activities. Amongst the many activities that the Indians are indulging during this lockdown period one is to have online prayers for peace & healing. They pray every day from 9:30 -10:00 pm asking Mother Earth to heal the world. It’s part of showing gratitude to Mother Earth. The participants Tanwirupa Maiti, Suman Sharma, Mridula, Shobha, Mitali, Poonam, Samiksha, Jaba, Akshadha, Jayashri Venkatraman, Reshma, Pramila, and Anagha recite powerful Mantras from the ancient Indian texts ‘ Vedas’. Also for purifying the air around them they perform ‘ Aarti’ which is a musical prayer service done with fire by burning camphor and lighting up the lamp. Blowing Conch or ringing the bells are part of the ‘Aarti’ as they believe that these sounds create positive vibes around them.
For entertainment unique musical group games called ‘Antakshari’ are played online though a programme called ‘ Edusetu’ by Vikas Laghata. In this game, Bollywood songs are sung by participants and carried forward by another song with the last letter of the previous song and a competition takes places between groups of people singing the right songs. Through Antakshari game, people come online and get entertained and spend a few moments of happiness and togeterness .
To handle the angst and negativity, blogs are being written by some members of Indian community which help in overcoming situations like this. For example ‘Inner self ‘ by Tanwirupa Maiti (https://www.facebook.com/tanwirupam/ )and ‘Coronavirus Diaries ‘by Shruti Ravinderan (http://www.thewanderingconteur.com/the-coronavirus-diaries/)
Last but not the least, spending few hours productively is one of the mottos of the Indians staying at home at this time. Few members like Anil Sharma, Vikas Laghata, Abhay Agarwal, Rahul Goyal are teaching Hindi language online to the children at home who are getting bored and need something to occupy their long hours of home stay. What better way to mix learning with entertainment?
This period is kind of an unprecedented time for which no one was prepared . But hope is something which they all look forward to. Waiting to see a refreshed new world.
The Indians are trying their level best to keep up their spirits high by doing positive and productive activities. And today’s motivational video was one such Initiative.
Source: Amrita Sher-Gil Cultural Centre, Budapest