Indians in Taiwan: Diwali Festival of Lights

Do you fall into boring patterns in life? …Go to the same places, see the same people, drink the same beer? One thing I enjoy about Taiwan are the interesting things that just happen out of the blue.

My evening went like this:

I was meeting some people that wanted to buy my old scooter. We met, conveniently enough, at a 7 – 11 near the local college campus. Directly after that, I met an old friend that happened to be going to 7 – 11 after class for a few beers. OK, why not eh? We stayed there reminiscing and waiting for his wife to get out of class. Several of his Indian classmates came by and we were invited to their celebration of Diwali, or the festival of lights (all photos here).

Indian speaker taiwan

When we got to the park, we listened to an older man give an uplifting speech about light as a metaphor for knowledge.


Before i knew it we were in a park introducing ourselves the somewhat large Indian community of Tainan. They all spoke English there (it is one of two national languages in India) as they all came from different areas of India, and most spoke different languages so to communicate they used English.

Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 4Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 6

Then we lit candles (no easy task with the wind gusting)

Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 15Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 36Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 40Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 42Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 45Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 8Diwali Festival of Lights Indian `14

and set them on the ground in the shape of India. I took so many shots of this I ran out of memory on the camera a little too soon and after coming home, I realize my camera really sucks in low light situations. It’s too bad I couldn’t have taken better photos for them.

Diwali food plate 2007 tainan

After that they carted in the Indian food buffet from Deepok and the local Hari Om Indian restaurant. I ate so much I nearly burst.

Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 911Diwali Festival of Lights Indian sparkler

Then it was on to lighting fireworks and sparklers and having a good old time.

Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 54Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 55Diwali Festival of Lights Indian 58

One thing I noticed was that the woman took off and ate by themselves. I mentioned this and was told it was hard to say exactly why, but that it is a remnant of custom. Old habits die hard I suppose, and woman in India have a lot more expected of them in modern society.

Diwali Festival of Lights Indian TainanDiwali Festival of Lights Indian Tainan, Taiwan

I met so many kind, interesting people tonight, and I hope to see them all again some time. It was a special event for the growing Indian community here and I am very happy to have participated. If any of you see this, email me sometime. therealtaiwan[at]

Indian Woman 123Indian Women

Cute Indian Boy

About the Author

I am a cultural geographer by nature, and now a photographer, videographer, musician, and webmaster.

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