In a quest for validation-by-sticker dating back to those gold stars from third grade, desis are yet again pitching a Diwali stamp to the US Postal Service. The online petition comes with a ‘No fair! Rashid got a bigger piece’ twist, because an Eid stamp came out years ago. Since both the Diwali and Dalip Singh Saund stamps have been rejected before, the latest try shows we can take a lickin’ and keep on stickin’.
Some experts told that the stamp being issued was not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’, said Kumar. “Diwali‘s recognition by the US Postal Department… will also honour a civilisation that has the merit of being a continuous propagation for 6,000 years, and Diwali is celebrated not just by Hindus but also Sikhs and even Christians. It’s like Christmas,” he contended.
My assessment is a bit too flip. It’s true that in the email age, procuring a Diwali stamp is like flyering the Titanic. But it’s actually free marketing for the South Asian brand. You might not have to explain your damn holiday to your elderly neighbors any more. You might get a sponsorship from Illuminations.
You might even pull a Hannukah (eight days of presents? It’s a shanda) and leave work early every day in November. ‘Ours is a very respectful religion,’ you might say. ‘We respect the ancient tradition of shubh ghanta. Also called happy hour. We take converts.’