Everyday Asia

Home » Discovering difference » Diwali ‘ding dong!’ demands

Diwali ‘ding dong!’ demands

Global views


Diwali is also the time where the “Ding dong!” of the doorbell never stops as everyone who provides any kind of service comes with hand extended for money money money!

  • Diwali lights at our building

    Diwali lights at our building

    Postman suddenly delivers a letter to your door instead of stuffing it into the mailbox

  • Rations delivery guy stands expectantly for an extra Diwali ‘bakshish‘ (tip)
  • Garbage collection family does a ‘double’ check to see if you have handed over all the day’s garbage?

Mysteriously from every corner emerge people one barely registers as supporting the lifestyle one takes for granted…

Yes it is payback time for all the invisible and visible activities that go into life in India.

And those who regularly collect salaries, expect an extra month’s salary as a bonus.

And who can blame folks for wanting a ‘bonus’? Despite the illusion of ‘poor India’, it ain’t cheap to live here and getting an annual little ‘extra’ is common in many parts of the world…

In Indonesia, Lebaran comes with Tunjangan Hari Raya (THR) which is a mandatory fixed 13th or sometimes even 14th month bonus.

In China, the New Year is greeted with bright red envelopes filled with a crisp new notes.

So why should India’s biggest Hindu festival be any different?

But what if you are not Hindu?

Well my friend… welcome to the world of double demands both during Diwali and other ‘festivals’. In our case, we get ‘hit up’ for Christmas too!

So thank you oh lovely folks who make our every day life a little easier (or more complicated, as the case may be!)

Happy Diwali and enjoy your bonus and break!!

Related posts:



  1. NancyTex says:

    Every time I hear Diwali, I can’t help but recall the episode of The Office when Kelly Kapoor invites them all to a Diwali festival/party. 😀
    Happy Diwali, Carissa!

  2. Wow thats interesting. I never knew you gave more to the help during diwali.

    • Comes from living in the US without ‘help’ vs India where even if you do your own housework (which thanks to dust, pollution, bugs is much more than in N America), there is always secondary and tertiary ‘help’ such as the watchman for your building, the car washer (trust me – necessary when there is daily bird shit to be removed!), newspaper delivery guy, etc.

      For ‘staff’ it depends on how long they have been employed. If a year – then a full month. If less than a year, can be pro-rated.

      In our case, my partner’s driver is less than 6 months, so he got half his salary as bonus for Diwali and will get the other half for Christmas.

      Our maid has been with us nearly 2 years however also owes a significant sum. So her bonus was deducted from her debt but to give her the equivalent – I gathered a huge stack of clothes & shoes. What her daughter and cousin can use they will, what they can’t will be sold and should fetch a decent sum.

      It is inescapable here! And can be quite insistent – a friend’s reviled building manager was very um… forceful in his demands for exhorbidant sums from his perceived wealthy tenants.

      We live more modestly so the expectations are tempered and also generally get along with folks with daily teasing n jokes so don’t mind shelling out the ‘extra’ that is just part of the festival!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,658 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: