It's lights-out for Chinese lanterns as Diwali shoppers go desi
The Times of India Mumbai|November 08, 2020
Atleast 10 to 15 times a day in the lead-up to Diwali, Thane-based mild-mannered gift shop owner Khimji Patel has been finding himself putting out verbal fireworks. “Is this China-made?” ask customers about the multi-coloured ferry lights festooning his busy storefront. “How can you keep Chinese goods?” they go on to chastise the Gujarati businessman before launching into a righteous spiel questioning his patriotism in the wake of the Si-no-Indian border skirmish. Some walk out in a huff, some give him an earful and then leave with the Chinese lights. Most customers, though, seek out the Indian-made hexa-gonal lanterns which—unlike the ready-made Chinese counterparts—require Patel to stay up till 2 am every night to assemble. “Only 10% Chinese goods are being bought this season,” says Patel, laying bare the average Mumbai Diwali shopper’s boycotting sentiment.
Bella Jaisinghani, Nitasha Natu & Sharmila Ganesan-Ram

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