Chinese articles threaten to outshine Indian statues, earthen lamps

     Chinese lights and clay statues threatened to outshine the Indian articles during the festive season of Deepavali. The Chinese lamps, lights, and statues of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are fast disappearing from the shop. "The Chinese lights are less costly. They are easy to maintain and unlike 'diyas' they don't require oil for lighting them. People also prefer them because they are cheaper than the Indian articles," said Sonu Kumar , a shopkeeper. The preference for Chinese articles reflects a shift in loyalties of the customers. "We use Chinese lights to decorate our home. It is cheap than the earthen lamps and lasts long. Also it does not require oil and wick for lighting and unlike the lamps," said Jyoti Kumar , a customer. Chinese statues of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi are also threatening to spoil the business of clay statues made by the potters. "Chinese statues have affected our business a lot. The Chinese statues are beautiful to look at so people prefer them to our clay statues. In the past few years, we lost around 25 per cent of our business to the Chinese statues. This year too, the market is flooded with Chinese statues which are bound to affect our business," said Kamal Kumar, an idol manufacturer. Deepavali is one of the major festivals celebrated in the country. It is celebrated on the first day of the lunar month of Kartik, which comes in the month of October or November. The festival is celebrated to commemorate return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after completing 14 years in exile and killing demon king Ravana. Lighting earthen lamps and bursting crackers on this day signify victory of good over evil.

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