Diwali celebrations in NSW which started with the Diwali function at NSW parliament on November 2, continued till November 12 where the NSW Premier Mike Baird and minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka flick the switch to turn the sails of the Sydney Opera House orange in celebration of the Hindu Festival Diwali.
The Diwali celebration at the NSW Parliament was attended by Premier of NSW –Mike Baird, Counsel General of India in Sydney –Sunjay Sudhir, Dr Harinath –OAM Chair Multicultural NSW Advisory Board, John Ajaka –Minister for Multiculturalism, many parliamentarians along with the members of the Indian Community.
Strangers Dining Room , Parliament House was well decorated in ethnic spirit for the Diwali celebration. The guests were welcomed with Tilak and Bindis to give the occasion a cultural touch.
The event started with the performance of a Diwali song and a display of Ramayana characters and costumes by the students of the IBBAV Hindi School, NSW.
Lightning of the ceremonial lamp was done amidst chanting of the Vedic hymns by the Pandit Ram Sivan and Pandit Rama Athreiya.
The National Anthems of Australia and India were sung by Maya Stempien and Anshula Kumar respectively.
Dance performance by Swastik Institute of dance and Tabla and Violin jugalbandi by Maharshi and Amelia Cheng were other highlights of the evening.
In his address Dr G.K Harinath Oam Chair, Multicultural NSW Advisory Board, said that he is particularly delighted that this event will now be a regular on the NSW Parliamentary Calendar, allowing Australian Indians to proudly showcase and share their cultures and traditions with others.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Sydney supported the Anakut display. Anakut holds special relevance in Indian culture. A day after Diwali, mark
Day after Diwali, marks the beginning of New Year . On this day Anakut or a ‘mountain of food’ is offered to God.
Hon Mike Baird in his address said that the Indian community has always been forthcoming in welcoming community participation in festivals such as Diwali, and leads by example in its promotion of cultural acceptance and understanding.
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