Overlapping holidays a chance for Hindus and Sikhs to learn about each other (COMMENTARY)

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A vendor makes artificial garlands for sale inside his shop ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in Ahmedabad, India, on October 29, 2015. Flowers are offered to Hindu gods and goddesses on the occasion of Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated across the country on November 11. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Amit Dave
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-MENON-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Nov. 9, 2015.

A vendor makes artificial garlands for sale inside his shop ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali in Ahmedabad, India, on October 29, 2015. Flowers are offered to Hindu gods and goddesses on the occasion of Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated across the country on November 11. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Amit Dave *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-MENON-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Nov. 9, 2015.

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(RNS) More than a billion people around the globe -- nearly a fifth of the world’s population -- are preparing to celebrate the festivals of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.