Punjabi Council of Australia celebrated Vaisakhi at NSW Parliament on May8, 2014. This was the 9th celebration in a row and Punjabi Council thanked NSW Parliament and Parliamentary host Nathan Reese MP and ex- Premier for his help in organising the event.
Vaisakhi is an important day in Sikh calendar being Birthday of Sikh Community dating back to 1699. Vaisakhi is also a great cultural festival celebrated in Northern India- when wheat crop is ready for harvest and farmers dress up in bright colourful attire and dance to the beat of drum.
The guests started coming in from 5.00 PM at the Parliament House and the program officially started at 6.00 PM with traditional recital of ‘Shabad’ by Guru Singh Sabha Revesby Youth group.
Dr Moninder Singh, Coordinator, Punjabi Council of Australia, started the proceedings &and welcomed the dignitaries including Leader of the Opposition John Robertson MP, Kevin Conolly MP, Barry O Farrell, Nathan Reese MP, Sunjay Sudhir Consul General, Indian Consulate Sydney, Consul AS Ranga, John Kennedy President UIA. Many Parliamentarians, leaders from Indian and Pakistani community and representatives from Sikh Centres, and Cultural Associations & Sports Clubs attended the function.
Highlight of the evening was the presence of Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal Ji, a noted environmental activist.
Resham Singh, first Sikh to raise awareness about his right to wear turban in Australia while on duty in Ambulance services in Queensland and Lakhwinder Dhillon- Honest Cabbie from Melbourne- who made us all proud by returning bag full of cash which was left in his Cab by a passenger going to Casino in Melbourne were also present in the function. These personalities were presented ‘Pride of Punjabis’ Award.
As this year is silver jubilee of Kabaddi in Australia which is back bone of Annual Sikh Games in Australia, members of the first Kabaddi team of Australia which laid the foundation of traditional Indian sport Kabaddi 25 yrs ago were also facilitated. Each member was presented a memento in the form of a group photograph of the first Kabaddi team.
Young lad Varun Tiwari who is a renowned Punjabi dancer in Sydney was also facilitated.
The event finished with light refreshments by Royal Sweets, Blacktown.
“Events like the Vaisakhi celebration at the Parliament House display recognition of valuable contribution of the Indian Community especially Punjabi community in Australia. The invitation was extended to all other communities and their overwhelming participation proved that Punjabi community belongs to all and all belongs to Punjabi Community. Presence of guests in large numbers ensured that Vaisakhi celebrations should be repeated for many years to come”.
Punjabi Council of Australia thanked everyone for their support.
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