October 25, 2019
Mallory WestStaff Writer
When Divya Maiya, a Best Buy product manager, moved to the United States nine years ago from India, she thought she would have to say goodbye to traditions. Traditions like Diwali, a festival of lights that celebrates the victory of good over evil.
To her great surprise, she learned that Best Buy not only encourages employees to celebrate the holiday, it hosts a large celebration at its corporate office. Last year’s event drew 400 people.
“I couldn’t even adapt to it for the first year. It was so weird to wear a sari and go to a meeting, so I didn’t,” Divya said. “But now I know that Best Buy is a great place for me to be myself and bring my cultures, traditions and dances.”
This year, Diwali falls on Sunday, Oct. 27.
For the last five years, Best Buy’s Asian Employee Resource Group has been hosting an annual Diwali celebration.
This year, the event happened on Friday, Oct. 25. More than 800 people attended, many wearing traditional dress. They were able to shop small vendors, get henna designs and sample traditional Indian food, like samosas, sweets and chai. The highlight of the day was a 90-minute show full of high-energy dances. Nearly all of the performers were Best Buy employees.
“We want to make Best Buy an inclusive place where people can come and celebrate what’s important to them while also teaching others about our culture,” said Ram Kundoor, chair of the employee group. “It’s been so much fun to come to work and see so many wonderful colors and people laughing together.”
Customers will also be able to join in the fun with unique Diwali gift cards that can be purchased online. For the first time, customers can also buy gifts or technology to help prepare for own their celebrations with a custom Diwali gift list on BestBuy.com.
For Divya, Diwali is more than a celebration. It’s a reminder that community is everywhere.
“We are all people, we are all human. That’s what festivals mean to me, bringing people together and noticing what is different but also really noticing what is similar and how we can work with one another,” she said.
Click here to see tech for Diwali.