Today is the official Diwali festival day and the noise is already unbearable. Firecrackers have been going off since 5 this morning. They have been going off all week but today is the big day. If you’ve never experienced Diwali in India, the only way to explain the noise is that it is like being in a war zone. There is one that sounds like a machine gun and, once lit, will go on for at least 5 minutes straight.
The kids are getting used to the noise. Yesterday they were both crying every time a firecracker went off but today they have accepted it. Logan was calling them fire engines this morning. I don’t remember it being this loud last year, but that could be because we were in a different neighborhood. Everyone around here is celebrating.
The festival itself is a big deal. It is one of the biggest festivals of the year. Buildings will be decorated with lights so that it looks like Christmas. People shop like it is going out of style. Everywhere you look there are discounts. Families get together for the fun and there is a lot of good food and sweets.
The downside to the fun is that doctors are overworked at this time of year. People get careless and accidents from firecrackers abound, mainly severe burns. You just have to be too close or checking one that didn’t go off, and then it does and that is it.
Another problem is that the firecrackers are not made to any sort of safety standard. The factories, if you can call them that, are usually nothing more than a large empty room where the firecrackers are put together by hand on the floor. In many cases, children as young as 7 are the ones doing it so that they can make a little money for their families. At least one factory a year has a major accident where lives are lost. Some people protest by not buying firecracker, but how is that a solution? I doubt the government would ever put a ban on the making and selling of firecrackers to the general public as the income generated by this industry is staggering. The wealthy will spend large sums without even thinking about it. They just turn a blind eye to the fact that, in essence, they are supporting child labor, even though it is against the law. And even if they have been made in a factory that only employs adults, there are still no safety standards and the dangers are great.
I don’t have anything against firecrackers themselves. If you are careful they can be fun. What I am against is the way the industry is put together, the way they don’t put safety first, and they way they could care less who does the work. All the owners can think about is the money they will make each time around. The only reason we don’t buy firecrackers is that our kids are too young to enjoy them. Why buy something that is going to scare them?
Ok, enough from me on that. Since today is a holiday we will just be relaxing at home. Logan knows that when daddy isn’t working he will watch cricket, so as soon as Glad is up, Logan asks to watch the game. Yep, it’s on right now. I’m relaxing a little before getting breakfast. I’d better go now before I am hounded by hungry people.

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