Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, celebrated every year in late October or early November. This year, thousands of Hindus and people from different religions celebrated across New Zealand, but what many people may not know is that Diwali has a deep-seated tradition that includes gambling.
Usually after lighting the Diya’s and performing Diwali Pujan, family and friends will sit down and play card games like teen patti (a version of poker) or rummy, all night long.
For many, gambling during Diwali is just a bit of fun, but for those who struggle with harmful gambling it can be difficult to maintain abstinence from gambling during the festive season. If you’re struggling with harmful gambling after the festive season, you may wish to talk to someone about your gambling.
ASHA is a free and confidential service, with trained counsellors who are available to support anyone impacted by harmful gambling – that includes the person gambling and anyone else who is impacted by that person’s gambling. ASHA counsellors speak Hindi and Punjabi and provide culturally appropriate support for the South Asian population in New Zealand. Call 0800 862 342 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paras Arora is a Counsellor and Health Promoter at ASHA, a division of Asian Familiy Services.