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  • Writer's pictureGunjan Syal

A Design Thinking Diwali

This is a preview of the material available here. Design thinking is a necessity to create a culture of transformation and innovation. Without it, we are doomed to repeat historic errors. This is what we discuss in this workshop.

Diwali is one of India’s most important festivals. It represents victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. This is why candles and diyas cover Indian homes during the Diwali celebrations.

People with Indian heritage all over the world were challenged to celebrate Diwali in an innovative manner, while on the cusp of another COVID-19 wave. Diwali was an unprecedented and bitter-sweet experience for me this year. Days leading up to the festival were challenging to plan. Still, I managed to make most of it with a little bit of research and availability of digital channels.

The Traditions That Continued

The obsessive purge: I started with the usual Fall cleaning around the house. This was a relatively easy task since I began practicing minimalism in 2018 (thanks to Joshua Becker for inspiration) and the lack of shopping during the pandemic.

Christmas…errr…Diwali….errr… Holiday lights: Most difficult part here was to ensure that the lights say off the ‘seizure inducing’ setting — seriously, why is rapid blinking even an option! I also added electric candles on all tabletops for a ‘back-home’ feel without the risk of burning down the house.

Nostalgic food: What is Diwali without Indian sweets? (that’s a trick question — it’s NOT Diwali without Indian sweets!) I masked-up and visited the local Indian store to procure some Haldiram’s Soan Papdi. This is where the pandemic feel returned. The store was well decorated for Diwali, and barely had any customers. The shelves had significantly less variety due to restricted imports this year.