Lighting up Los Angeles : Priyanka’s Diwali Bash
4th November 2021 saw Deepawali festivities all across the country. Bollywood celebrities organized lavish parties, and the entire fraternity was shimmering with joy, as celebrations were going on with full fervor. Our beloved Desi Girl, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, was not behind the likes of other stars in organizing a Diwali party.
Chopra Jonas started her stint in the West with musical endeavors. Though her songs ‘In My City, and ‘Exotic’, garnered accolades in India, they did not leave a lasting impression in the United States. However, such setbacks were not to deter Priyanka. She starred as the lead in the American TV series Quantico in 2015 and received widespread critical acclaim for the same. Her Hollywood commitments made her juggle between India and the US, but Priyanka has tried, with great success, to straddle both Bollywood and Hollywood.
Though there are no questions regarding her appeal and her success, she has managed to win hearts in a myriad of other ways. While residing predominantly in the US, she has held firm to and practiced her culture and beliefs in a way that has left many Indians overwhelmed, and teary-eyed. Even after her marriage to singing sensation Nick Jonas, she has continued to practice Hindu customs and even generated awareness about them in her marital family.
This year, she performed a Lakshmi Puja with her husband, which was followed by a Diwali bash that was attended by her friends and colleagues from Hollywood. With lights adorning the house, a dance floor in place, and sparkles to celebrate, her house was teeming with Diwali fervor. What made this Diwali party even more special was that it was her first Diwali in her new home. Attendees of the part included her close friend and vlogger Lilly Singh, renowned actress Mindy Kaling, author and motivational coach Jay Shetty, and his wife Radhi Devlukia-Shetty, among others. The pictures shared by Priyanka on Instagram make us go green with envy, looking at the star-studded evening that literally brought India to LA. “Thank you for giving us a family Diwali evening in LA”, writes Jay Shetty, who is a prominent member of the Indian community. Nick Jonas, dressed in a bright red kurta, a black half-jacket, and a pair of churidars, on the other hand, took to his Instagram to share a video from the night, as he goes on to appreciate Indian festivals. A part of the caption of his post reads, “My beautiful wife has introduced me to so many wonderful Indian holidays and traditions. My heart is so full to be able to share this with our friends and family”.
This is not the first time that Priyanka and Nick have proven to be the quintessential inter-cultural couple. They have been very vocal about embracing each others’ cultures and participating wholeheartedly in them. Be it Holi celebrations, Karwa Chauth, Christmas, or Halloween, this couple has shattered all norms, and risen above all expectations, and shown to the world the warmth that exists in a truly accepting marriage.
Incidentally, Priyanka was not the only celebrity of Indian origin to throw a Diwali bash in Hollywood. Her friend and famous YouTuber Lilly Singh, too, hosted a party that was the talk of the town. Actors like Kal Penn, Brenda Song, Victoria Justice, Priyanka Chopra Jonas among others were the people who attended the celebration. The images that have surfaced on social media make the happiness of the people palpable to us.
Diwali now, is, therefore, not just an Indian, or a Hindu phenomenon. As the Indian diaspora begins to leave its mark on the West, especially in the entertainment industry, it carries with itself Indian traditions, and it is the practice of these traditions that makes Indian culture more visible and more accessible to people who earlier had little to no knowledge about it. It is not just about Priyanka Chopra Jonas celebrating Diwali in Los Angeles with her American husband – it is about how the self-assuredness in her ancestral roots of one Indian global star can generate awareness and create a conversation about traditional customs and festivals.