Canberra enjoys Diwali in style

Shiara Samarasinghe crowned Miss India Canberra title

Canberra community organized a highly successful Diwali Mela on November 14.   Wonderful weather, although threatening towards the evenings’ close, did not deter the Diwali celebrants. The program, especially the major items were enjoyed by appreciative audience, throughout the day.

Radio Mapasand’s live broadcast featured decorated stage, interviews of community members, participants and stall holders.

The Program had been divided into three segments ”“ Saffron, White and Green ”“ the colours of our Tricolor Indian flag. Each Segment had its own opening prayers, lighting of the traditional lamps by the VIP’s, occasional addresses, followed by interesting and inviting cultural presentations.

Three VIP’s ”“ our High Commissioner Her Excellency Mrs Sujatha Singh, Senator Gary Humphries and Senator Kate Lundy, after lighting the lamps, declared, “Let Diwali Mela Begin” in the same style and zeal, as the declaration by the President of India for beginning of Delhi Commonwealth Games. The occasional addresses by the VIP’s were inspiring and interesting.

VIP’s of other segments were Deputy Indian High Commissioner Mr Sharma, Ms Caroline Le Couteur MLA, Mr Steve Deszpot MLA, Mr Brendan Smyth MLA, Mr Shane Rattenbury MLA.

Talent Show, which had been divided into three age groups was also thoroughly enjoyed by all. The contestants, especially the youngsters presented lots of vibrant items as proud parents watched their children perform.

The 22 children of Mandir Music group presented Diwali culture and traditions, in a very innovative format, which also conveyed the Diwali message in a simple format understood even by the novices.

Miss India Canberra beauty pageant of the six spicy beauties had three segments, beauty parade, talent show ”“ when the contestants played instrumental and vocal music or dance, and intriguing Q & a session. The girls were quite ravishing, that it was really hard to pick winners.

Myers Fashion show, displaying the latest styles inaugurated by Myers the day before, was another heart stealing show by six beautiful Caberrans.

Bollywood music presentation by Soumitra Sarkar was so captivating that one felt almost in Mumbai.

The finale was the Bhangra, when all young and old were either dancing or clapping.

Food stalls, games stalls, yoga stall, fashion garments, 2 TV- Dish presenters showed the Indian TV installations in easy steps that a number of visitors ordered the dish installation and received the Diwali Mela promotional discount as well. Most of the VIP’s enjoyed the curries and took some home too. In all food stalls served over 11,000 meals.

In short, Diwali Mela was a quite successful and a highly patronized program that the organiser Diwali Mela Inc has decided to hold Diwali Mela 2011 on Sunday 29 October 2011, with promises of a more innovative program next year.

Hard work by volunteers that include Mrs Shweta Chawla for the Beauty contest, Mrs P Nagbhushan for organising the stage performances, Mrs Ragini Santhanam for Diwali presentation, Mr T Srithran, Mr Srinath and friends for converting the concrete stage into Indian art, Mr Lakshman Prasad, Mrs Jayanthi Gupta for compering, Mr Natraj Chandrasekaran for Mandir stall, Mr Sanjay Pandey for web-site, and all the stall holders for providing food, yoga and other items.

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