SEREMBAN: Apart from exploring a new culture in the United Kingdom, this year’s Deepavali was an entirely new experience for M. Naviinesh, who is continuing his studies at the London School of Economics (LSE).
Despite being away from his family and the Covid-19 pandemic putting a hold on social activities, the accountancy student who hails from Seremban, managed to celebrate the festival in a modest yet lively way.
Naviinesh, 20, said, just like in Malaysia, the festival there was also celebrated in the new norm, with people having to wear a face mask, maintain their social distance as well as observe the ban on big gatherings.
“It was totally different celebrating Deepavali without my family and being in a foreign land during the Covid-19 pandemic, but celebrating the occasion with fellow Malaysian Isaac Chin, 18, and Alex Iwanejko, 19, from Poland lifted my spirits.
“UK is a home away from home for thousands of Indians so you will find the Indian community both on campus and off-campus and most of them are from northern India,“ he said in a statement to Bernama issued by Petronas Group Strategic Communication Media Engagement Department.
Admitting that it had been a distinctly different Deepavali festival with the social distancing and lockdown rules, the Petronas-sponsored student said he and his friends took the challenge in stride and together they prepared several dishes for a little feast.
“We cooked chicken peratal, prawn sambal, briyani rice, palak paneer with naan, cucumber raitai as well as herbal chicken soup.
“Of course it was not as good as mom’s cooking back home, but it was enough to celebrate the tradition,” he said adding that the muruku and traditional cookies he received from his mother had cheered him up and fulfilled his Deepavali cravings. -Bernama