Diwali was celebrated last Wednesday at the Kingsgrove Community Aid Centre with a colourful array of multi-coloured Diyas and the sand art of Rangoli welcoming the crowds as they arrived.
Over 400 people attended the days event which was organised by the Kingsgrove Community Aid Centre in Partnership with the Resourceful Australian Indian Network (RAIN)and Georges River Council.
Guests welcomed the festival of light wearing traditional saris in many colours mixing and mingling together from many cultures.
Acknowledgement of Country began the event by Ms Brenda Eggleton from Georges River Council signifying the traditional custodians of the land and paying homage to the ancestors past and present .
High Priest Pundit Paras Maharaj showered traditional Diwali blessings on all present for good health and peace extending his blessings to the Community Aid Centre and its members and staff to continue receiving resources to be able to serve the needs of those most vulnerable in the community.
Kingsgrove Community Aid Centre chief executive officer Anne Farah-Hill in her opening speech spoke about the significance of Diwali in a local western perspective .
“Through light the beauty of this world is revealed . Light is a metaphor for knowledge and through knowledge we aim to destroy negative forces, weaknesses, injustice oppression and suffering,” Ms Farah-Hill said.
“By organising this festival, we bring people together from all cultures,” she said.
“We hope that people will learn from each other and appreciate and respect each other’s backgrounds, values and beliefs so that we become a more respectful and harmonious community to contribute constructively to the wider Australian society. Anne also thanked her team led by Ms Gurmeed Nelson, volunteers and Dr Sudah Natarajan Executive Director of RAIN.
Guests included Kogarah MP Chris Minns, Oatley MP Mark Coure, Georges River Council deputy mayor Sam Elmir, Councillors Sandy Grekas and Nancy Liu, and RAIN chairperson Mrs Adarch Sachdev.
And Dr Saraja Srinivasan RAIN resonated with the message of peace and acceptance.
The formalities then ending with a lively piece of entertainment by the famous Indian entertainer Varun and his Bollywood entourage of dancers.
All guests being picked on one by one to the stage to contribute their talented moves and flow with the music. The young and the elderly mixing with each other.
Parliamentary and civic Members not let off the hook showing some interesting and artistically motivated moves under a shower of tinsel and glitz that bombarded the stage filling all with glitter in their hair and eyelashes.
Surviving this all were served with a scrumptious array of samosas and barfi to end the day .