NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello joined the Australian-Hindu community to celebrate the Indian Festival of Lights, Deepavali.
NSW State Parliament was colourfully lit to mark the occasion, and the celebrations were led by O’Farrell and Dominello.
O’Farrell said he wished everyone a happy and peaceful Deepavali.
“Deepavali is an important time for many communities in NSW as the lighting of the diyas symbolises the lifting of spiritual darkness and new beginnings,” he said.
“The Australian-Hindu community’s pride in its heritage and culture, and its contributions to society continue to support Australia’s multicultural diversity,” he added.
“These celebrations provide an opportunity for everyone to learn more about the diverse customs and cultures of their neighbours, friends and colleagues,” he said.
Dominello said almost 200 community leaders, members of Parliament, diplomats and key business representatives attended the event.
“I am delighted that through this celebration we could bring the community together in an important show of unity while lighting the Deepavali candle,” he said, and added that holding the event at Parliament House in the presence of community leaders and religious clergy signifies the respect and importance this ancient festival deserves.
“Deepavali teaches us about the power of light to banish darkness, and encourages us to spend time with family and friends, sharing amazing foods and entertainment,” he said, and added that the NSW Government is publically showing its respect to the tradition of Deepavali by illuminating the exterior of over the next week for the festival.