Sydney Opera House goes gold to celebrate Diwali

The iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House shimmered in gold tonight to mark the Diwali festival, celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains around the world.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet joined Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward in watching the spectacular illumination and wishing those celebrating Diwali a safe and happy festival.

Lighting up the Opera House is our chance to share in the joy of Diwali, an occasion that celebrates freedom, the triumph of good over evil and the renewed hope of a brighter future,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The pandemic affected our ability to gather with loved ones and observe religious and cultural traditions as we normally would, so this year’s event is extra special.

“I wish all those celebrating the festival a safe and happy Diwali as they enjoy precious time with family and friends while staying COVID safe.”

Mrs Ward said Diwali brings more than a billion people of Indian and South Asian heritage together around the world.

“Diwali showcases our rich multicultural society here in NSW and is celebrated across various religious traditions, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism,” Mrs Ward said.

“By illuminating the Sydney Opera House, we are projecting the Diwali message of peace and hope across not just our State, but to the world.

“The projection of the brilliant hues of yellow and gold symbolise the traditional ceremonial candles lit during Diwali.”

This tradition of lighting the Opera House in yellow and gold was proposed by Shubha and Akshay Kumar of India Club few years ago when a handful of Indian community and their kids got together at the Circular Quay terminal to watch this iconic building of Australia light up to celebrate not only the spirit of Diwali in Australia but also to recognise the presence of hardworking Indian community in NSW. Since then the NSW government has taken it as its initiative to carry on with the tradition in the form of great fanfare when the select members and leaders of the Indian community are invited over canape and a beautifully decorated cake and display of sweets in the Annakut tradition by the team of BAPS Swaminaryan temple.

Sadly last night it was a quiet affair with select local Indian media invited to cover the event. And that too without any sweets.

NSW is still reeling under the spectre of Covid 19. We the Indian community hope that Diwali next year does bring a ray of light for all and hope that not only that Opera House lights up in hues of yellow and gold but it projects motifs of diyas over the colours and that the festival is celebrated with dressed up Indian ladies and gents.

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