The Hindu Council of Australia’s pre-Diwali celebrations were held at Martin Place on 15 October for the fourth consecutive year.
Through these celebrations in the heart of the city, Hindu Council seeks to give multicultural Australia a peek into the festivities and traditions of the Hindu festival of lights.
Stage performances, traditional costume stalls, henna, art and food stalls – without which no Indian celebration is complete — were the main attractions of the day. As was the huge Raavan effigy.
The event kicked off at mid-day with a warm welcome and the Australian and Indian national anthems by North Parramatta Public School. It was followed by the traditional ceremony of lightning the lamp. Nihal Agar, Chairman of the Hindu Council, was joined by special guests including Australian cricketer Brett Lee and actress Tannishtha Chatterjee for the ceremonial lighting of the lamp.
The aroma of Indian food flooded Martin place and at lunch-time the area was jam-packed with people from diverse backgrounds walking around to watch the festivities and savor the delicious Indian food.
Dancers dressed in traditional attire caught the fancy of passersby who stopped by to click their pictures with them. The costume photo booth, where visitors could be photographed in traditional Indian clothes, was another star attraction.
Speaking of stars, one more attraction of the day was the promotion of the newly released feature UnIndian by its lead actors Brett Lee and Tannishtha Chatterjee, along with the movie’s director Anupam Sharma and production team. Many people stopped by to pose for selfies with Brett Lee and Tannishtha.
Cultural activities including Bollywood dance, Garba, Giddha , Bhangra, live singing and much more continued throughout the day . The event was also graced by several members of the New South Wales Legislative Council including Minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka, Member from Parramatta Geoffrey Lee, Representative for Strathfield Jodi McKay, Member from Hornsby Matt Kean along with representatives of the Jain, Sikh and Tibetan communities.
The event will be followed by the Hindu Council’s Diwali Mela at Parramatta Park on 8 November.