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Celebrating India's Fall Festivals When Family Tugs in Two Directions at Once

 

Some interfaith couples face the so-called December dilemma as they try to figure out how to mesh family expectations about Christmas and Hanukkah, but in India, Runa Mukherjee Parikh is braving the annual autumn quandary. One fall festival, Durga Puja, is very important to her Bengali family and the other, Navratri, to her husband's Gujarati family.

 

"Both of these festivals arrive at the exact same time and each mean the world to my respective families," she writes. 

 

Fortunately, her toddler son Ochoa is cool with that – and the multi-day festivals are timed so that while there is some overlap, there is also room to celebrate each one separately.

 

"He contains within him the hopes and aspirations of two communities and, unlike the adults around him, he is open to all of it, neither understanding nor getting bogged down by the distinctions we adults fret about," writes Mukherjee Parikh about her son. "Far from the efficient maths and the balancing act, Ochoa is swimming effortlessly in the sea of festivities, his spirit reigning over the customs."

 

READ MORE [The Swaddle]

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