Diya

Relationship: Im/migrant

When we started this project, to write about an object that was past down from another country, I started thinking of all of the objects I can write about. I chose a diya. I chose a diya because I knew only a little bit about it and I was interested in learning more. I also chose this object because it was one of the only things my mom brought with her to America. Our diya’s in a bag and on top of our altar. We usually only take them out on Holidays. Once we got to talking, my mom told me about the different times during the year my family uses it and other bits information about it. A diya is an oil lamp that you light with fire. Diyas are made out of clay, and has a cotton wick dipped in ghee or vegetable oil. It was made in Guyana, where my parents are from. However, It originated from India. Diya’s were passed down in my family from India, to Guyana, and then to America. Diwali is a festival of lights. So in Hinduism, we light many diyas and decorate our home to celebrate Diwali. When you light diyas on Diwali it lights up our homes and lets in spiritual energy. When my mom was a kid she celebrated Diwali. My family would decorate our houses with so many diyas inside and out that the whole house was lit and looked beautiful.  So when my Mom came to America she brought some diya with her to help continue this tradition which she loved. We still have those diya and we bought new ones here in America.

Place(s): Guyana
Year: 2002

– Rupa

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant