Celebrate India Inc was established with the aim of bringing Indian culture from the shadows where it was thriving into the spotlight. The founders wanted Indian culture to be part of the mainstream calendar, agenda and consciousness and take centrestage on the Melbourne cultural circuit.
This year, the Celebrate India team was awarded Victoria’s 2013 Multicultural Awards for Excellence by Premier Dr Denis Napthine.
“Celebrate India is very honoured to be recognised by the Premier for its work of bringing the Indian culture to the forefront and sharing it with the wider community,” says Arun Sharma, Festival Director and Chairman of Celebrate India Inc.
This Diwali, thanks to the efforts of the Celebrate India team, Federation Square was abuzz with the sound of Indian music and came alive to the beat of some Bollywood dance moves. Indian street fare was also on offer and all in all it was an outing to remember. Families turned out in force to watch the fireworks and it was an evening to beat all others for the Indian community. As per the official figures released by Fed Square, over 58,800 people enjoyed the variety of art, entertainment and culture presented to them.
“Over the past eight years, we have celebrated and brought the rich Indian culture to the heart of Melbourne and invited all Victorians to participate in it. We have assisted many businesses and worked with other organisations to do the same including Louis Vuitton, Ballarat Indian Organisation, Councils of Bendigo, Wodonga and Ascot Vale Trader Associations as well as AFL, Cricket Victoria, White Ribbon and Cancer Foundation, among others,” says Arun.
Celebrate India has also tried to get the Indian community to participate in some of Australia’s landmark events. “We initiated Indian community participation in the Moomba parade for two years. Our other initiatives include sharing information and encouraging Victorians to tackle serious issues such as domestic violence and breast cancer, which can affect anyone,” he says.
“We received good media coverage by Ch 2, The Age and ABC, SBS radios and post event coverage on CNN, The Hindu, Indian Express, Punjab Keseri in India and a few other American Indian papers via news agencies and photographers,” says Arun, who also thanked media partner The Indian Sun.