Earlier this month, I celebrated a very special time for my family. Diwali, or Deepavali, is the Hindu festival of lights where small clay lamps (diyas) are lit to signal the triumph of good over evil. It was celebrated over 5 days where we invited our family and friends to attend the prayers (pooja), light the lamps, exchange gifts and indulge in a sumptuous feast.
While Diwali is associated with a number of different stories, the most prominent being from the epic story of Ramayana. Lord Rama returned to his kingdom, Ayodhya, after 14 years of exile, in which he defeated Ravanna, a highly skilled warrior-king who applied his knowledge for evil purposes. After this victory, the people of Ayodhya welcomed back Lord Rama by lighting rows of clay lamps from the forest to the kingdom illuminating the way home.
A Rangoli is a decorative design
made during Hindu festivals
I am always amazed at the drawings, called Rangoli, that my children create each year in front our house for good luck as part of the Diwali celebration. As they blossomed over the years, so did the intricacies and colors within their drawings. It caused me to pause and reflect on my own personal journey of growth, including joining the Sodexo Talent Acquisition Group in July.
This years’ Diwali celebration was especially bright because in addition to celebrating with my friends and neighbors, I was able to share my traditions with my colleagues at Sodexo. As a new employee of the staffing team, I have grown in many ways. It has truly been a rewarding experience to be interacting with my colleagues as well as prospective employees of diverse backgrounds. Listening to people on a daily basis with such extensive experiences and cultural backgrounds has further helped me broaden my horizons.
Additionally, I look forward to becoming a member of Sodexo’s Pan Asian Employee Network Group (PANG). Asia is comprised of such unique cultural components and my reason for joining the group is two-fold. As a member, I look forward to understanding what helps shape attitudes and thought processes so I can help our company better attract and retain talent. At a personal level, I would like to teach my children the importance of inclusion. I want them to be able to recognize, distinguish, appreciate and respect that as unique as we all are, the awareness of the common ground we stand on is as equally important.