Little India illumination, TikTok dance challenge, and 5-hour show among Deepavali festivities

SINGAPORE – The Deepavali celebrations starting next week will have something for everyone, even as the festivities take place for a second year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (Lisha) will launch its 2021 Deepavali online and hybrid business line on September 25. The highlight will be the traditional lighting of Little India on September 25th.

While the Night Bazaar remains suspended, there will be food trails, heritage tours, cooking demonstrations, scavenger hunts, and competitions such as a TikTok dance challenge for all races.

A karaoke challenge is already open for registrations, with a deadline for video submissions on September 26.

The great Hindu festival, which falls on November 4 this year, is also known as the Festival of Lights and celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

For the first time, the celebrations in Singapore will include five hours of performances which will be broadcast by Tamil associations around the world on their Facebook pages.

Ranging from fusion music to talk shows with speakers from India and Singapore, the Deepavali show will be filmed in Singapore and a segment will be broadcast by Puthuyugam TV, a Tamil-language channel based in Chennai.

Lisha’s advisor Rajakumar Chandra told the Straits Times that the Deepavali show builds on the program repertoire that the Lisha Literary Club created to entertain migrant workers living in dormitories here.

The 150 online programs had even found popularity beyond Singapore.

Mr. Rajakumar said: “Surprisingly, the shows drew hundreds of thousands of views from dorm workers, and the programs were accidentally broadcast to the Indian community in around 20 countries.”

In a media preview Thursday (September 16), Lisha’s Honorary Secretary Ruthirapathy Parthasarathy said the festivities were held in hopes of keeping the morale of traders and the community alive even as Little India’s attendance has dropped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

From October 9 to 21, visitors to Little India will also be able to experience a contemporary take on rangoli, the Indian art of creating patterns on the floor.

Rangoli artist Vijaya Mohan will set a new achievement in the Singapore Book of Records by creating a work of art at Poli @ Clive Street, using 100,000 paper flowers created with assistance from the Board of Indian Activities Executive Committees of the People’s Association.