University of Haifa International School Student Blog
Going to a country where your religion is not practiced much is always difficult. You end up having to figure out ways to instill those practices you grew up learning at home and finding a way to adapt them to your new setting. Hinduism is not common in Israel which makes it difficult for me to find a temple, find Indian food, or even an Indian store. Today is Diwali which is our New Year! The Festival of Lights and the triumph of good over evil. I’ve spent the last couple of years celebrating Diwali with my family and friends from my home university. This year however I wasn’t able to do that.
On Friday night my family celebrated Dhanteras with our annual puja to Goddess Lakshmi. Even though I was on the other side of the world I was still able to take part in the puja through FaceTime! Thank god for technology. So at 6 am Israel time I listened and watched as my dad explained and performed the puja. This made my morning because I felt like I was actually there sitting right next to them. It also reminded me that it doesn’t matter where you are in the world you can always practice Hinduism daily by listening to bhajans and making an effort to be a better person.
I’ve also learned the importance of friends and family in my life. At this point in my life they are my world and my biggest supporters. Every day I look forward to seeing my friends here in Haifa and every week I look forward to the snaps, Face Times, and Skype sessions with all my friends and family back home. I’m lucky to have friends and family that check up on me and actually talk with me no matter how busy their schedules may be. Even when I call at odd hours of the day they always pick up my phone when they can. True friendship right there! So as a thank you for always being by my side, here are some moments that I will treasure for a lifetime.
So on this Diwali I have learned to call home in my small apartment in Haifa! As I light candles around my place I’ll be thinking of all the memories from this past year and hoping for an ever better year ahead. I hope to spend more time volunteering and giving back as much as I can. Thank you to all my friends and family!
This week I got four new roommates! One is a masters student from Canada and the other three are local students starting off their semester! So excited to get to know them better. Also thank god for the clocks going back an hour! More sleep!
I also voted for the very first time which is always exciting. I sent in my absentee ballot so hopefully it reaches in time! Please go vote!
Hope you enjoyed my blog for the week! Classes are kicking in and midterms are coming up! Happy Diwali and Happy Halloween! Love and miss you all! 10 WEEKS!