Good Day Cork's Podcast

Diwali Chats I Festival of Lights I Shantie & Jo I Part 2

November 16, 2020 Good Day Cork Season 1 Episode 2
Good Day Cork's Podcast
Diwali Chats I Festival of Lights I Shantie & Jo I Part 2
Show Notes Transcript

Happy Diwali! Shubha Diwali!

Shantie Carroll & Joanna Dukkipati discuss how traditions change over time and also because of life circumstances.

Shanti & Jo have lived in Cork for over 10yrs. This conversation is to encourage you to have positive conversations about cultural diversity despite its complex nature.
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Background music by Yellow Tunes.
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Shantie Carroll is a yoga teacher - get in touch via Instagram @shantiyogacork
Joanna Dukkipati is steward of Good Day, Cork.
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Please visit www.gooddaycork.com for more uplifting #MediaDiet
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#CorkLike #Ireland #Diwali

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But what we did do is what you described, you know exchange of food,

 

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so we would always like that that would have been a big deal

 

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where my mother would pack up some ‘prasad’
[sweets made to offer the deity first and then offered to others without discrimination] .

 

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Maybe we call it ‘prasad’. Yeah,

 

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so my mother would pack up little packages and you know,

 

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her sisters would have lived nearby and it was like,

 

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you know, you get on your bike

 

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and cycle over there and bring it bring it

 

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to so and so when you bring it

 

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So and so so - “Make sure you bring back the bowl.”

 

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and for you end up with this smorgasbord of all these different things.

 

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And then some aunties start to try different things,

 

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you know things that they didn't grow up with

 

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and they started making things from other regions in India.

 

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So that was nice and I mean we were exposed to the different sweets and desserts,

 

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you know recipes really they know

 

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when you get to Google things like even now I'm Googling things I'm

 

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going like, “Oh I never had that. I don’t know what this. so I’ll make it - so kids eat

 

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it.” My kids won’t eat anything - like

 

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‘ jalebi’ or ‘ladoo’  [varieties of traditional Indian desert]
because it is so sweet, So they wont eat it.

 

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So I will always try to get a collection of few things you know.

 

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You know am a yoga teacher and in previous years, when I’ve done yoga classes
at Diwali, I have treated my students to Diwali sweets

 

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Now I do buy them because it’s just so much easier - and I chop them up

 

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so people can taste different little things
but again the first reaction people have like,

 

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“Oh my God is so sweet.”
There’s one important thing that I forgot to

 

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mention with Diwali is that you know,

 

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when I mentioned that you know,

 

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my mother starts doing the shopping

 

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and the cooking and the cleaning

 

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as well with that come comes vegetarian eating

 

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so not vegan because you know we’re allowed cream and milk
but vegetarian and no and no eggs.

 

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So for you know, maybe a week before we would have no meat

 

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or fish or eggs milk and cream with and cheese was also allowed and in the early days,

 

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you know when my parents had just moved from South America to Europe.

 

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In the early days, we wouldn't even have animal products in the house.

 

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That would be nothing in the fridge or the freezer even you know,

 

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so we were very strict but as we were in the Netherlands for longer and longer,

 

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you know, like turning on the lights at four o'clock because you know,

 

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we we need to see what we're doing.

 

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We did become a little bit more not relaxed

 

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but you know, we let go of certain traditions

 

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so even like hearing your story now it is
so different to mine and that I.. where we you know,

 

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we were growing up thinking that we weren't doing it the way it was supposed to be done

 

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because you know,

 

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we weren't doing it in India, you know,

 

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the people that left India to go to Surinam to work

 

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for the Dutch, they left their families behind they left everybody

 

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and everything behind...thinking that they
would go back after their working contract was finished.

 

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Yeah. Then and then you know, there was no way back for them.

 

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So they .. a lot of people chose to

 

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stay in Surinam. They always knew they were never going to go back

 

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but then there was also a community of Indians from India thinking that they were

 

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going to go back to India after they've made their fortune,

 

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you know in the in the new world and there was no boat back for them.

 

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So they stayed in Surinam, maybe not properly prepared

 

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for the life that they would have without the support of family.

 

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So I think some some people or some families that left

 

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maybe they did not bring a certain set of
knowledge with them because you know,

 

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it wasn't really necessary like. This is why you know,

 

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my real rituals regarding Diwali is the way it is because you know,

 

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three four five generations ago, they might have gone,

 

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“We're not really sure what we're doing here.”

 

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Because they didn't bring the knowledge with them.
How rituals

 

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change, how a culture changes. It changes.

 

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It evolves adopts assimilates, integrates.

 

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I totally understand what you're saying about knowledge about rituals

 

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because you bring in a person [like me]
who wants to raise her boy at least understanding

 

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and having the sensitivity for other festivals

 

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So… and now that he's four almost four and a half.

 

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He's got the, you know,

 

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the rationale the reasoning ability to ask questions and to to really experienced things.

 

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So I think it's the first time that I'm kind of invested in Diwali

 

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and it's not like I'm gonna go looking up stuff for how it should be done.

 

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I think we're gonna figure it out together.

 

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Yeah way we're going to read about stuff.

 

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We're going to look at pictures. I'm going to tell him stories

 

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of my, you know,  just like how I'm sharing with you.

 

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I suppose what I'm trying to say is that it's going to be very interesting

 

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as the years come now of how Ethan and I and now daddy too,

 

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you know, we're gonna get involved

 

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and creating our own rituals creating our own way of celebrating Diwali

 

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And it's a pity because of the pandemic.

 

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He won't.. I think last year he got to see something happening in Cork  - was it Diwali or Navratri?

 

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I think it was Navratri which is a whole other beautiful festival.

 

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And so hopefully next year

 

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when they have the small gatherings in Cork
we’ll go or not because he might be like, “No mom.

 

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…It's too loud mom. I can't I can't.”  You know we dont know, I don't know.

 

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It's basically going to be led by him

 

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and me just trying to usher

 

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him and say this is what this

 

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is and this is how this is

 

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and I'd say would be unfair to just focus on one

 

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and it would be nice to focus on all
different festivals from all different faiths

 

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because I grew up that way. Out of my own curiosity

 

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I would go and ask questions and
find out and you learn at school even do you know,

 

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so I would like for him to have that.

 

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Tradition is that what I'm doing now with
my children and my husband in my house,

 

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is quite similar to what I was doing with my parents when I grew up in my in their household,

 

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but you know, we make little adjustments here

 

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and there like we don't eat vegetarian for a whole week before Diwali.

 

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We just have vegetarian food on the

 

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day and I don't clean out my freezer

 

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or my fridge if there is if there are animal products in there they stay in there,

 

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but we don't consume anything on the day.

 

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I won't but you know, maybe if my daughter is like.

 

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“I really feel like eating..” whatever she wants or like, “Sausage!”

 

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Yeah, then go with it, you know if you really wanted but then I would also like to say, “Well,

 

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it's just one day!” You know ask yourself

 

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“Why must you?” and I that is another
part of my guess is that you know,

 

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You turn inwards and as I go why am I doing this?

 

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It's still working for me, you know,

 

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and if you want to change it, why am I going to change it?

 

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What am I going to replace it with?

 

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And what purpose is that going to have I think traditions are great.

 

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I am not in favour of tradition -

 

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I have to say and I’ve broken most traditions that were thrown at me

 

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in my life but I do think traditions are great

 

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because it gives you a starting point. You can ask yourself,
“Is this something that is going to work

 

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for me?” And when I did Diwali on my own that was just the way I did it

 

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and then my husband came into the picture

 

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and we did it together and he was very happy to come on board

 

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because who's going to say no to ‘dal’ and ‘ladoo’ to all the yummy food was like, ‘Yeah,

 

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I'm there!” - you know all this lovely Indian food.
So he did Diwali with me but you know,

 

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I'm not doing any prayers. I'm not doing any prayers with him.

 

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I'm not blessing myself and I'm not blessing him either

 

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and then when kids came along I continue to do the same thing.

 

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So it is the traditional, you know, you’re tidying the house.. presenting the house

 

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little bit better like the way anybody would at Christmas

 

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or Easter,

 

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you know, cleanliness and all that.

 

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cleanliness of mind, cleanliness of body,

 

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you know, it's all the yoga principles

 

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and coming back when you look at the values all weave in the lifestyle.

 

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So when I study more about Indian festivals
and how various people celebrate the festival just the whole

 

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yoga principles come in there, as you know,

 

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part of the lifestyle. That in itself…

 

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I’d like to give … pass on to my children.
That they would have that for the rest of their lives.

 

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Even if they never set foot in a yoga studio.

 

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You know what I mean? Yes, they have that Indian heritage of you know,

 

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this is how we live and if they choose never to celebrate Diwali,

 

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that's fine by me and if they never choose to celebrate Christmas,

 

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that's also fine by me.
It's I think at the end of the day.

 

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We have to remember that we are people of the world - the world is

 

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so much smaller than it was before and it's important,

 

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I think the rationale has to be there as well.

 

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And the more we read the more knowledge

 

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we have the better equipped we are to
navigate everyday and navigate the week of Diwali.

 

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Um, you know, I just want to say I wish you a happy happy

 

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Happy Diwali to your family

 

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and to all your loved ones and even to your
students and everybody.
Thank you  Jo

 

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And same to you. Yeah, and may the year be filled with light.

 

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May life always be filled with light even on a grey grey day,

 

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like today, may we always find the light inside us to help us,

 

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you know to live our best life I suppose isn’t it? Yes.

 

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Yeah so cliche, but so true you know very often

 

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it's the cheese cliches we go back to because they make so much sense,

 

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but simple words you hear them all the time.

 

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Yeah!  - But in the end of the day it is what
we're all striving towards isnt it?

 

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Yeah. Yeah.
Inner Peace

 

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Thank you so much for the chat.
Thank you for your time.

 

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Yeah. Yes.
Really lovely to chat to you.

 

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Yes, you too. You too. Bye!
Bye Joanna.