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    Posted November 9, 2012 by
    Trinidad and Tobago
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    CNN celebrates ... Diwali

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    Ramleela Celebrations


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     For 23-year-old Roger Seepersad Diwali is a perfect opportunity to bring out his camera.

    “Diwali is special to me because being a photographer, I am into light. It is the festival of light,” he said.

    The photo shows various actors dressed in costume, praying at the end of one of the Ramleela Nights. Ramleela runs for two hours every night for ten nights and tells the story of Lord Ram and the restoration of Dharma.

    “The play, or Leela, starts with a short prayer and ends with a short prayer. At this time all of the actors line up facing the tent where the pundit prays,” said Mr Seepersad.

    “The event takes place outside, at night, so lighting was a challenge. I shot this because of all the light coming from the tent where the pundit was. The first line of actors are the main ones, Lord Shiva, Lord Ram and Latchman, Sita, and Lord Shiva's musician. All the others behind are supporting roles that are mostly nameless.

    “On this night of the Ramleela, they portrayed the burning of Lanka, you can notice off in the distance that is still some small amount of fire still burning, as well as the smoke in the background,” he added.
    - stinabacker, CNN iReport producer

    It is considered some of the best street theater in the world. Every year actors get together to recount the story of Lord Ram and the eventual restoration of Dharma, or good over evil. The leela (or play) takes place over the course of 10 nights, leading up to Diwali celebrations. The photo shows various actors in costume praying at the end of one such night at the Pierre Road Ramleela Celebrations, 2012.
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