297/365 – Meditation Games #297 – Diya Light

Developer: Rohun Ranjith

Launcher Quote: “A diya is an oil lamp mainly used in India and Nepal.

It is usually made from clay. Inside the diya is a cotton wick dipped in vegetable oils or ghee.

Clay diyas are usually used as lighting for special occasions.”

In life, unless in a situation to display otherwise, we’re usually taught or shown the culture we grow up in, and that’s what usually, at first, becomes our default perception of how things work. We  get to know our history, our customs, and our occasions, and become comfortable with them as norms. In school, we’re typically shown about different things in other cultures in specific situations, either in history, or part of sociology, or part of any other class that might teach something about another culture different than our own. Among other, more obvious things, these are the times in school that should be remembered and appreciated, because they show us something different.

The entry today centers around the diya lamp – an oil lamp used in India and Nepal, and the simple task of lighting it while observing a portrait of someone in that culture combines to form a mini lesson about how the lamp is used and displayed in the culture. The thing with presentations like this, which provide not much further context or detail, is that they can tend to inspire more research, more knowledge, more education for those who are interested in doing so. I didn’t know anything about the diya lamp or how it is used as a significant part of Indian or Nepali culture, and after playing the game, had to look it up a bit more – something which ended up bettering myself and my awareness.

The inspiration to come out of one’s box or cultural norm is part of the reason why games that feature this kind of multiculturalism and give it the respect it deserve should really get more recognition. It’s in this break from the norm that we further our own perceptions, and prevent the kind of attitudes and behaviors that cause us to fear or dislike what we don’t know about.

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