Beliefnet
Everyday Ethics

It’s Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, a day millions of people celebrate the triumph of good over evil. And to those of you who recognize the holiday, you might be interested in President Obama’s Diwali greetings

If you’ve followed this blog since its inception, you may have picked up on my struggle with my religion. Despite those struggles with long-held traditions and beliefs, I have a deep respect for the faith, and therefore don’t want to dishonor it by acting in a disrespectful manner.
Which brings me to my Diwali shenanigans. 
Normally when I’m at home, if I’m roused out of bed on a Saturday morning any earlier than 9 am, I get cranky. Especially if it involves helping my mom prepare for a religious ceremony. After all, if I don’t believe, why do I have to help, right? (This argument is usually greeted with a deaf ear). 
However, Diwali is different. I practically bounce out of bed, ready, willing and possibly even eager to participate in the festivities. I’ve always loved Diwali, and even the more overtly religious aspects don’t niggle at me – too much. I love the idea of good triumphing over evil, I love the lighting of candles and lamps at night, and yes, I definitely love the new clothes we wear to honor the day. But should I? Am I the worst kind of Hindu? 

Perhaps this sounds very familiar to those of you who celebrate Christmas, a constant struggle between respecting the religious aspects of the day with the Hallmark traditions. And perhaps if I had grown up in India, where many people celebrate Diwali regardless of faith, I wouldn’t have this kernel of guilt in my gut right now. 
 
Now, here’s my real dilemma today. On religious holiday such as this, Hindus are not supposed to eat meat. 
I’m pretty much the biggest carnivore you’ll find, and by golly, I have been craving some BBQ. I made plans with a friend to go out today for some BBQ, forgetting for a minute it was Diwali until my mom reminded me not to eat meat today. 
Sure, I could reschedule, but it has been tough enough to find a time and day with this friend. I don’t know if rescheduling is even possible. And sure, I could not eat meat today. I could get corn..and biscuits….. 
But I want to eat meat. I see no reason not to eat meat. I don’t believe in that aspect of Hinduism. I would never disrespect my mother by eating meat in her home today, but is it disrespectful for me to sneak out to indulge? (Keep in mind, I also would probably keep this a secret…between you readers and me, of course)

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