Diwali Traditions - Bringing Back The Silver Tin

Of the many memories of celebrating Diwali as a little girl in Ahmedabad, India, one of funniest has to do with my mom’s silver tin. It was a gorgeous, round tin, made of real silver, with some of the most intricate floral designs that I have ever come across. The silver tin only made an appearance during the week of Diwali, when my mom would fill each section with really delicious sweets, which coincidently, also made an appearance only for Diwali!

The box would be kept closed on the living room coffee table, until guests arrived to wish us Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year! It was opened as an offering to our special visitors as we too wished them a happy holiday season.

My mom would ban my sister and I from eating out of the tin to make sure it stayed full for our guests. This was one of the hardest things to deal with as a child because all we wanted to do was eat the treats which we never saw for the rest of the year!

It wasn’t too hard to find a way around this crazy rule of course. We would sneak-in the living room when my mom wasn’t watching and stuff our hands with whatever that would fit (the one time when I was thankful that our home didn’t have an “open concept”). We would also help ourselves when my parents offered the tin to the guests, knowing that we wouldn’t be yelled yet in front of company! = )

My mom brought the silver tin with her when we moved from India to Charlotte, NC. As a teenager, stealing Diwali treats wasn’t really a priority of course, so the tin lost a little bit of it’s allure for me. When I got married, my mom passed that beautiful tin to me and for so many years, I too, only used it sparingly for a special occasion (but never for Diwali because I never had any Diwali treats to fill it with).

This year though, the allure is back thanks to three kids who are eager to learn about their heritage. So, I pulled it out this morning and gave it a good scrub to remove all the tarnish. I plan to make a trip to the Indian grocery store today and find all those treats I remember as a kid. And even though we won’t have the constant flow of guests as my parents did, I plan to bring out the tin each night after dinner to let my kids pick a treat they like. And just like my mom, I plan on telling my kids they can’t indulge as freely as they like. But secretly, I hope they too find a way to break the rules during this Diwali!

The silver tin has also inspired the most recent addition to the Hello Namaste craft shop. The Indian Sweets Play Tray is a collection of 13, hand painted wooden pieces that are meant to remind kids about Diwali sweets like rose burfy (the pink cube), saffron laddoo with gold leaf on top (the yellow ball), orange jelabees, green pistachio roles, and white cashew squares with silver leaf.

This toy would make a perfect addition to any play kitchen, year round! I image lots of tea-time with the grandparents! Quantities are limited since I make them myself so get yours before they are all gone!

Indian Sweets Play Set
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Chika GujarathiComment