Sydney previews Hindu Council’s Diwali sounds and spirits at Martin Place

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By Neena Badhwar

Diwali is fast approaching as the big day arrives soon on October 30. The celebrations are all around the town with dinners, concerts, cultural performances, music soirees, melas, shops promoting their wares, Diwali decorations, puja items and restaurants offering degustation menus. Harris Park is all lit up and decorated to welcome this favourite festival of Indians.

Hindu Council of Australia (HCA) on October 13 organised Deepavali celebration at Martin Place with great fanfare, dances, Bollywood flashmob and music. Stalls there sold gold bullion and Ganesha and Lakshmi pendants, henna art, food, warm boiled corn, real estate and bank services.

A grinning Ravana’s effigy proudly sat with children curiously hopping around it. Though the weather was inclement people braved to visit stalls and huddled around a food stall offering chaat papri, aloo tikki, pani puri, chicken tikka and many more.

Children from schools performed dances at lunch time to a crowd of city workers. There were classical dances with Sarbani performing an Odissi item and an energetic flash mob by the young pretty dancers from Neha Jain’s Jashn-e-event dancers. The finale was gidda by Kamaldeep Tiwari’s prettily dressed Punjabans, a Bollywood mix by Ojaswi and Bhangra and dhol by Tejinder’s group as Sydney echoed with Indian sounds as onlookers congregated around the stage.

HCA’s dedicated volunteers had worked hard and non-stop for hours to create a stage decorated in all its glory. The council is gearing up for their grand Deepavali Fair at Parramatta Park on October 23 from 11 am to 8pm. There is going to be close to hundred stalls with people enjoying in the perfect backdrop of an ongoing performances by Sydney dancers, singers and even some theatrical enaction of Ramleela with the day ending in burning of the Ravana effigy and fireworks. It promises to be a great Diwali fair leading to the actual Diwali day when people retreat to their home with puja of Goddess Lakshmi on the day and decorating the place with lighting and diyas.   A Diwali the way NRIs celebrate abroad with gusto and excitement as they usher into the new year with hope for peace and of course victory of good over evil while they wish Happy Diwali to one and all!

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