The Multicultural Seniors Association of Victoria (MSAV) celebrated Janamashtami — the festival that marks the birth of Shri Krishna — for the first time this year, at Jamieson Way Point Cook, a venue which is provided at subsidised rates to Indian seniors by Wyndham Council. Members from all communities participated in the festival with devotion and respect.
As is customary, the Janmashtami celebrations began with an aarti, after which Mrs
Asha Goswami sang various bhajans in praise of Lord Krishna, and all the members joined in the singing. Another senior member of the group, PremJi also sang bhajans as well as recited poems related to the significance and sacrifice of freedom fighters and India’s Independence Day (since both Janmashtami and India’s Independence Day were in August). Members from non-Indian communities also participated and enjoyed the event thoroughly. The event ended with the distribution of parsadam .
President Dr Gurdev Rattan thanked the members and volunteers for making the event a success. “The festival was aimed at creating awareness of the culture and traditions of the Indian community. In our association, we have been able to create social and religious harmony where both Sikh and Hindu seniors participate in festivals and events of both religions,” said Mr Rattan.
He spoke about how MSAV assists isolated migrant seniors to leave their home and spend some time with their own age group. “We have been able to reduce stress and isolation among elderly migrants. They don’t feel that they are trapped in homes from morning to evening while their children are away at work. We seek continued support from the community and government to promote this work,” he added.