Communities urged to be culturally tolerant as Hindus prepare to celebrate Diwali

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As the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali nears, religious organisations are calling for all communities to exercise cultural tolerance and respect during this time.

The South African Hindu Maha Sabha says racist and anti-Hindu sentiments often flare up during these celebrations, around the use of fireworks.

President of the organisation Ashwin Trikamjee says while it is opposed to big bangs, fireworks are still an integral part of Diwali celebrations.

Trikamjee is also appealing for those celebrating to comply with all municipal by-laws.

“There is always a reaction to fireworks being burst and being used by the Hindu community during Diwali leading to some unpleasant, leading to violence and its far from having a social cohesion atmosphere. We appeal to all the communities that are not Hindus, to display a level of tolerance which is part and parcel of SA society and allow Hindus to celebrate once a year for tonight, during designated hours, and celebrate Diwali as they want to.”

Trikamjee speaks to Lotus FM’s Newsbreak: