For New York’s Indo-Caribbean Hindus, Diwali is a fusion of East and West

by | Nov 10, 2023 | Religion

NEW YORK (RNS) — As this year’s Diwali Motorcade passed through the heart of Ozone Park, Queens, last weekend, Lakshmee Singh explained how the parade, which her mother helped launch more than 30 years ago, is at once her inheritance and the future of her largely Hindu immigrant community.“We were around when there was nothing, and we helped build this religious community,” said Singh, standing at the corner of Lefferts Boulevard and Liberty Avenue, a crossroads of the neighborhood known as Little Guyana for its dense population of families who trace their history to the Caribbean nation on the shoulder of South America.
“It’s just pride to say you could leave your motherland and still come to America and hold onto your religion and culture, and be proud of it, not hide it,” said Singh, the host of a local Indo-Caribbean talk show that airs in both Queens and Guyana.
On the floats rolling down Liberty Avenue, dancers honoring Mother Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, combine the flair of Indian Bollywood with the Caribbean beat of the tassa drum, echoing th …

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