Swati Salunkhe

Managing Director - Growth Centre India Private Limited

Impact of Festivals

Impact of Festivals

Today’s youth – Confident, optimistic, techno-savvy, driven by definite goals, the ‘proud to be Indian’ generation equally at ease with the East and the West. But there is another, less-talked-about side to the story. There is more stress on young people today than ever. In the context of globalisation, dreams and realities for the youth are in a flux. Their lives are beset with problems ranging from unemployment, relationship problems, substance abuse, sexual abuse, eating disorders, depression and suicide. There are many factors behind it. One of the ways, de-stressing, unwinding and breaking away from the routine is to make the most of festivals.

Diwali is an opportunity for all to reflect on the importance of family, friendship and goodwill. Festivals have a cultural and social aspect which many feel transcends even their spiritual significance. They bring people together in friendship and love, and help heal broken relationships.

Creativity, business opportunities, meeting people, organizing social events, cultural exchange, sharing [by doing some charity work and offering to the less privileged] – all these are the social manifestations during any festival. A lot of students take up seasonal business ventures to earn extra pocket money or to keep themselves occupied. This stint if well used can earn student more than just the obvious, also a good time to go beyond enjoyment, a time to explore options, and eventually careers. A wide range of social competencies – cooperation, sharing, language, conflict resolution – can be actively practiced, interpreted, and learned in a meaningful context during this time. It also gives us an opportunity to meet and interact with people with similar interests, thus increasing our happiness and self-confidence.

Seemingly mundane activities during Diwali or any other festival, like cleaning the house, making rangoli, buying gifts, inviting guests, visiting relatives, making decorative items like greeting cards, and so on can be actually fun and full of creativity. But most teenagers tend to generate negative emotions like anger, frustration, laziness, jealousy, impatience or escapism because they do not seem to be as important as chatting or hanging out with friends. Rather than discarding the idea by just labeling it to be boring, look at it as an opportunity to explore a new area. See whether you can handle this temporary change as well. It may be a good chance to learn about one’s abilities, perseverance, self-direction, responsibility, and self-acceptance. One can develop intellectual constructs and cognitive understandings through hands-on, exploratory behavior that occurs during these activities. A positive relationship with family and friends develop a sense of social and emotional competence.

Festivals are a good time to revive the fading interest in our culture not only in the commercial way, but in its true ‘cultural spirit’. It is a great to look forward to a break from the routine; a time to unwind and gain more energy from the surrounding. This Diwali lets recreate ourselves and “celebrate a new self”.

Swati Salunkhe ©

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