Dangerous Compassions

happy Diwali

We went to this free event put on by the South-Asian Women’s Alliance of Nevada.  It was called Festival of Lights, and I thought it would be a bunch of middle aged Indian women doing Diwali.  Happy Diwali.

But I was wrong.  The women were mostly younger, and it was way more than Indian people.  There were people of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and a stan I’d never heard of.  The food was Indian, but Mediterranean and Filipino too.

It was outside at this amphitheater where we’ve been to other cultural events.  Hmm, they were south Asian events also.  I see a pattern.

The clothes were pretty!  But I wanted way more dancing and music.  That’s really what I came for.  They started the stage stuff more than an hour after the start time of the event, and there was so much talking!  Ugh!  Introducing people, thanking scads of sponsors, talking up a white guy politician, and explaining their org.  It was frustrating.

I brought my embroidery, but I didn’t have additional purple thread with me, so I could only embroider a few minutes.  Ming went to the car to search the glove box for thread and get my water.


We bought some food which was expensive, but that’s to be expected.  Festival food is like the food at Disneyland or maybe baseball games?  I’ve never been to a pro sports game.  The closest I ever got was riding the BART into San Francisco from East Bay for a zine fest during a Giants game.  Oops!

what I learned

The event felt totally secular.  I like a lot about South Asian and Indian culture, but I’m there for religion.  Culture without religion is like a body without a soul.  Or just a waste of time.  Culture without religion is like an empty box I open, thinking there was a gift inside.  Weird–did the present fall out?  I disassemble the box and wonder if the gift was stolen in the mail.

Culture without religion is like when I was in high school and went out with teenage boys who would make out with me and see how far they could get, then dump me the following day.  Yeah, there might be pleasure and learning, but why did I go through all that risk and emotion for something that didn’t matter?

I feel sad, looking for meaning and finding glitz.  Glitz is ok, but I prefer glitz in service of finding God.

happy Diwali

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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