Premier announces Parramasala program at Harris Park’s Grand Marion

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NSW Premier Mike Baird and the Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Councillor John Chedid, announced the program for Parramasala 2014.

Now in its fifth year, Parramasala will take place over three days and nights, from Friday 17 October to Sunday 19 October 2014. The focus for this year’s festival will be on free, public events and celebrations. This year, the festival activities will be extended beyond Parramatta to include Harris Park too.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said: “Parramatta is home to a culturally diverse population, and events such as Parramasala help us to embrace our state’s diversity and encourage us to learn more about each other’s cultures and traditions.

“Parramasala also reinforces Australia’s friendship with India and South Asia and celebrates the contributions made by NSW’s Indian and South Asian communities; and 44 per cent of the performers taking part in Parramasala are from Asian subcontinent backgrounds and 36 per cent of these are from India,” he said.

The festival will begin on Friday evening with a Street Parade along Church Street, Parramatta, culminating at Prince Alfred Park where a Welcome Ceremony and Concert will take place.

Parramatta’s Prince Alfred Park is set to be the heart of Parramasala 2014, with free entertainment on the stage Saturday and Sunday, as well as the Masala Markets which will offer a wide range of stalls and experiences, plus camel rides and a Chai Temple.

The Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Councillor John Chedid, announced details of the new event in this year’s program – the Harris Park Bollywood Block Party. “The Harris Park Bollywood Block Party on Saturday evening will transform the intersection of Wigram Street and Marion Street into a pedestrian-only celebration zone where people can enjoy street-hawker style food, dancers, musicians and DJs playing a mix of world and contemporary music,” he said.

Parramasala 2014 has commissioned three works for this year’s event program – the documentary

Ashok Roy Story by Oonagh Sherrard; and, in partnership with the Information and Cultural Exchange, Diaspora Stories, short films curated by Gary Paramanathan for the South Asian Film Festival, and the Chindian Diaries Exhibition. The work Diva Devine by Heather Lee will premiere at the festival. There are two international acts appearing at Parramasala 2014. India’s Ms Raminder Khurana and the Odissi Dance Group are being brought to Australia by the Indian Cultural Council for Cultural Relations to perform exclusively at Parramasala; and renowned Bharatanatyam dancer, Shobana Balachandra from Chennai, India will be joining her locally based sister Gayatri Krishnamurthy and other dancers from Wentworthville’s Thrayee School of Dance to perform Moving Celebrations.

Filmmaker Anupam Sharma will be the Parramasala 2014 Ambassador.

Published in The Indian Sun, Sydney

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