It was an eventful evening full of exciting announcements at the launch of Parramasala 2014, at Grand Marion, Harris Park on August 27.
NSW Premier Mike Baird and the Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Councillor John Chedid, announced the program for Parramasala 2014, a festival of the many diverse and rich cultures in Sydney and a much awaited event now, which has entered its fifth year of celebration.
This year, the celebrations will be even bigger and better. For the very first time, the festival celebration will be extended beyond Parramatta and will include Harris Park or we may say ‘Harish Park’ as it is famous in the Indian parlance.
With so many Indian eating joints, grocery shops and other Indian establishments, this area is famous as Little India among the Indians, so to attract more participation, this year Harris Park will also be in festive mode as a part of Parramasala.
The festive focus will be on free, public events and celebrations. Parramasala will take place over three days and nights, from 17 October to 19 October 2014.
Street-hawker style food, dancers, musicians and DJs playing a mix of world and contemporary music will be the main attractions. Masala Markets will be one of the highlights of the event. With 50 stalls of exotic treasures, food, camel rides, silent disco and more, it will be a real fun for people.
Then there will be ‘The Chai Temple’- a place to chill out and unwind with an authentic chai tea in the serene atmosphere of the Chai Temple.
One more addition to the event this year is Harris Park Bollywood Block Party – ‘Curry on’. It will be an amazing experience for everyone as Wigram Street will come alive with Bollywood dancers, a gypsy caravan, street performers, DJs and food carts.
While speaking on the occasion NSW Premier 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.
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,” said Councillor Chedid.
“This is a wonderful addition to the Parramasala program and an ideal way to showcase Harris Park’s increasingly popular culinary offerings.”
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 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 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.
Anupam Sharma , prominent Indian author, actor, producer and director was announced as the Parramasala 2014 Ambassador. Sharma, who is also Head of the Australia India Film Fund, will put his enthusiastic support behind the festival to help promote the event.
Sharma said he was honoured to be Ambassador for Parramasala and excited to be a part of this year’s festival.
“Over the years Parramasala has become an important event in the cultural calendar of Sydney and is a major celebration of the vibrant, rich and diverse cultures which are thriving in this wonderful country of ours – I am eagerly looking forward to the 2014 edition,” said Anupam.
Highlights of Parramasala 2014 include:
- Street Parade and Opening Concert -.
- Big Bollywood Dance.
- Prince Alfred Park Outdoor Stage entertainment all Saturday and Sunday.
- Masala Markets.
- The Chai Temple
- Harris Park Bollywood Block Party – ‘Curry on’
- Masala Mash – a soulful mix of music, dance and Sufi poets in an intimate, up-close setting at Riverside Theatres.
- South Asian Film Festival.
- Chindian Diaries Exhibition
- Art Workshops and Exhibition.
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