Sydney Opera House lights up to celebrate Diwali on October 21

By Neena Badhwar

As Khushal Vyas the young Emcee started the countdown asking guests to join in: 5,4,3,2, 1”¦ with Premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian, Dr Geoff Lee, Acting Minister for Multiculturalism; Dr. Harinath, Chairman Multicultural NSW, Indian Consul General in Sydney Mr. Manish Gupta and other dignitaries on the podium, the iconic Sydney Opera House lit up for Diwali in hues of orange and gold.

Said earlier Consul General, “Diwali festival and its message of victory of good over evil crosses all boundaries and thus helps nurture the multicultural spirit of Australia. When the famous icon of Australia is lit up to celebrate Diwali, millions of Indian in India will be able to see it and feel proud.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by the Premier who said that Diwali acted as a cohesive force for the harmonious society here.

“By lighting the Opera House, we are sending the message to the world that we come together to celebrate each other’s festivals and traditions,” Ms Berejiklian said.  

“Diwali’s message is universal ”“ the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil,”  she said.  

Dr. Geoff Lee said Diwali is celebrated across various religious traditions, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.

“The projection of the brilliant hues of yellow and gold on the Opera House will signify the ceremonial candlelight of Diwali,” Mr Lee said.

“It is also an opportunity to recognise the incredible contribution of the South Asian community to NSW.”

Khushal conducted the evening’s formalities with ease and kept the audience humoured when he said that Diwali festival’s message of triumph of good over evil is well and good unless when a fire cracker sneaks up your trousers, then the fire cracker triumphs over all.

Guests enjoyed his witty deliveries as their iphones clicked to snap the moment. Everyone was dressed up for the occasion to make Premier’s celebration of Diwali a colourful and joyous evening. Soon as you entered the venue at Museum of Contemporary Arts, one walked into an inviting display of sweets, even a beautifully decorated cake in the Annakut tradition by the team of BAPS Swaminaryan temple in Rose Hill.

Pandit Jathin Kumar Bhatt chanted cantations from the vedic manrtas and prayers before the lighting of the Opera House sails for which the guests had patiently waited. The Premier also recognised and mentioned the 550th Birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji which was followed by a hymn sung by the Sikh priests of the Glenwood Gurdwara.

Also in the corner was displayed the trophies for ICC World Cup, both men and women, for T20 cricket competition in 2020. Many guests tried to bat and took pictures with the trophies which every Indian hopes that India wins.

Diwali has become a favourite festival for all in Sydney with fairs, pujas in temples, celebrations by associations, parties, even homes getting ready with businesses decorating and selling sweets, wares, diyas, gift items and dresses for the occasion.

Sydney Opera House going gold and orange to celebrate Diwali is an occasion everyone looks forward to eagerly which has now become a tradition with the NSW government.

Pics by: Salty Dingo, Harmohan Walia, Rekha Rajvanshi, Akshay Kumar and Neena Badhwar

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