Diwali celebrated in South Africa

Fakir Hassen
·2-min read

Johannesburg, Nov 15 (PTI) A large number of South Africa-based diplomats and elected representatives celebrated Diwali at a function organised by the Indian envoy here.

Speaking on the occasion, on Saturday, Mayor of Johannesburg Geoff Makhubo said the festival of lights was not being held with much fanfare this year because of the COVID-19 restrictions. However, he said the city represents the festival in the true sense.

'Historically, Johannesburg is the 'city of light'. Whenever migrants came to the city from rural areas looking for gold, they referred to Johannesburg as 'maboneng' (city of light in Sesotho language),' the mayor said at the festival dinner hosted by Consul General of India Anju Ranjan at India House here.

'So when you talk of light triumphing over darkens during Diwali, this is where it is 'the city of Johannesburg'. I am very happy that President Cyril Ramaphosa has opened up (relaxed some COVID-19 regulations), but let's remember that COVID-19 is still here and (lets) not take it for granted. The infections are increasing and Johannesburg can be the epicentre again,' Makhubo told the gathering which included many locals, Indian expatriates and members of the diplomatic corps.

'Let light triumph over darkness; let goodness prevail over evil. Goodness will always prevail and good men and women of this world will rise up and reclaim this world. Let's defeat coronavirus, let's defeat war and let there be peace in the world,' Makhubo said. The coronavirus has killed _ people in South Africa so far.

Later, the mayor, along with Ranjan, officially opened an exhibition of medicinal plants used in Ayurveda.

Ranjan said the Government of India had declared November 13 as National Ayurveda Day in honour of Dhanvantari, the founding father of the ancient health system. PTI FH IND