A mela of multiculturalism

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Jospephs Gate

More than 26,000 people from various countries and cultures joined in for the Wyndham Diwali celebrations in November

The Victorian Multicultural Festival of Lights was celebrated on Saturday, 14 November, with lots of enthusiasm, fun and energy and a crowd of more than 26,000 at the President’s Park in Wyndham Vale near Werribee. High magnitude and artistically choreographed shows with dazzling colourful costumes made the day-long event a truly remarkable one.

The program started with a welcome dance to Lord Ganesha – Lord of success, destroyer of evils. Cr. Heather Marcus was with the Wyndham Diwali Inc. team the entire day, while other dignitaries like Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer of Victoria representing Premier of Victoria, Hon’ble Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Robin Scott, Wyndham City

councilors, Acting Mayor Cr. Gautam Gupta, Cr. Peter Maynard and Cr. Intaj Khan also joined in the celebrations. The Prime Minister’s representative, Hon’ble Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Federal Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs addressed the gathering. Later, Hon’ble State Minister for Health Jill Hennessey graced the venue and addressed the visiting public. Wyndham Diwali has been supported by passionate councillors. The Victorian government too lent financial and executive support, while Wyndham City Council sponsored the stage.

Wyndham Diwali Inc. believes in promoting unity through partnerships and has been on the mission to promote its vision of Many Cultures One Nation. For the Diwali celebration, more than 350 participants from various community groups joined hands to make a quality display of ballet, dance, music and singing as the art forms, bringing to life the organisation’s mission.

Among the highlights of the events was a performance by Wyndham-based Rachana Natyalaya School of Indian Classical, folk and Bollywood dancing.  She choreographed and trained over 100 kids, youth and adults in various dances and ballets based on the central theme of the festival.

This year, various voluntary multicultural groups like the Tongan, Maori, Sindhi Association and Bengali Association troupes who performed on stage and also extended help in organizing the event as partners.

Wyndham Diwali Mela is a medium for exchanging cross-cultural traditions and festival celebrations in the community. The participants at the Diwali program came from various national backgrounds: Indian, Mexican, Italian, African, Maori, Somalian, European, Sri Lankan and Tongan etc.

There were stalls for a variety of foods and the children were kept entertained with jumping castles, merry-go-rounds, jumbo slides, bumper cars and more.

Diwali cannot be complete without fireworks. The weather was sunny and most co-operative in this regard and there was truly a “dhamaka” of a fireworks display.

The event is supported by the Victorian State National Indian Community peak bodies like

CIAA, FIAV, FIMO and FIMDV.

The date for the event next year will be 22 October, 2016. Do join in.

For more details, visit www.facebook.com/wyndhamdiwalifestivaloflights; www.wyndhamdiwali.org.au; Email: team@wyndhamdiwali.org.au;

Raghunandan Kuncha Koorthy, President at Wyndham Diwali

Inc. on 0413 359 776; Srinivas Shesham, Vice President at Wyndham Diwali Inc. on 0422

217 667; Archana Kuncha Koorthy, Artistic Director at Wyndham Diwali

Inc. on 0432 161 933.

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