Diwali celebration by Indian cultural society of Darwin, Australia!

By : Shashi Khanna.

Diwali may be over in India but the celebration and festivity continues with zeal in cities around Australia. Indian cultural society in Darwin celebrated DIWALI  at the Indoor sports stadium. A well organised program attended by whose who and nearly all the Indian community at Darwin. Indian cultural society ,a group of focused Indians who are taking from their seniors – the founder members are putting the showcase in a wonderful manner. 
 
 
Tables laid for the families and stage set for performances. A beautiful program from classical ,folk , bollywood and singing was on the list. Well anchored and presented orderly was appreciated by all. Annual address and introduction of the committee members was well presented by the President of the society. The area MLA read her message wishing every one Happy Diwali and joyfully welcoming all to NT. 
 
Anchoring done by young and children both was very cute. The perfect dance performances by all age groups was appreciated. The beats of Bhangra swayed all to their feet. Loud applause and whistles followed in appreciation. 
Snacks,dinner and drinks were laid throughout the evening which was much enjoyed by all. Tickling taste buds Indian food was great along with the Indian music. 
 
 
All dressed up in their best of Indian apparel and accessories further adorned the atmosphere. A diya lit on each table luminated the festival. Meeting the Indian diaspora to such an extent was amazing. An enjoyable evening concluded with every one on the floor dancing their hearts out to the beats of Punjab and bollywood. 
 
Indians may be miles away from their country miles apart from the society but it was heartening to see they gave created a mini India here at Australia. The charm of Indian music , food and dresses has captivated the foreign hearts too who mingle and participate in Indian festivals with zeal and zest. The harmony amongst Indians from any state and with Australian society is an examplaire. 
 
World is a huge family and we all are the brothers and sisters with different colours, cultures and religions living togather in harmony celebrating each festival and every moment. I have amazing experiences to take back home and share with India. How harmonious and lovingly people live here in togatherness,inspiring all the sects, culture and Indian society. Long live our Indo-Aussie relationship emerging as an example for world wide citizens. The divine sense of acceptance and giving is truly showcased here. 
 
 
I find myself overwhelmed and lucky to witness and participate in all this. 
Thank you so much Sh.Surinder Jain from Hindu council of Australia , Sydney for giving me this extremely wonderful opportunity to report from Darwin,NT. It’s surely an interesting and worthy vilunteering. God bless and I again salute to all the members of Hindu council of Australia specially my brother Somesh Sibal for introducing me to Hindu council of Australia for all their fruitful efforts and hard work for promotion of Indian culture in Australia. Also my heartiest congratulations and greetings to the Australian society and government for their support and encouragement. 
 
I leave with a heavy heart but with zeal and promise to join back you all again next year. Lovely being a volunteer at Hindu council of Australia. All good wishes & good luck !! 

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Australian Prime Minister – protection of our religious freedoms is synonymous with our identity

The Australian Prime Minister Hon Scott Morrison #ScoMo has a issued a press release vouching for the freedom of religion as essential to Australian identity in a diverse Australian society of today. Hindus applaud his statement and support a multicultural Australia, free of religious hatred and free of terrorism.

 

THE HON SCOTT MORRISON MP

Prime Minister

Australian PM Scott Morrison saying Namaste to Hindus at Deepavali 2018

 MEDIA STATEMENT

 Thursday 13 December 2018

RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS

There is no more fundamental liberty that any human being has than their fundamental right to decide what they believe and or not believe.

What you believe should always be a matter for you.

The protection of our religious freedoms is synonymous with our identity and it is particularly relevant because of our diverse Australian society.

Some of our largest and most established communities and some of our more recent arrivals to Australia have a higher proportion of members expressing identification with a religious belief.

94% of Indian born Australians identify as having a particular religious faith and those faiths are many including Hindu, Christian, Sikh and Muslim.

PM with some of the Hindu Council team members

If you support an open tolerant multicultural Australia then you will support and understand religious freedoms.

Religious faith is a way of life and an integral part of harmonious Australian culture that is critically important for our continued success.

Australians are substantially united that all beliefs and all Australians, including not having a belief, should always be respected by each and every citizen.

ENDS

Media Contact: Rosa Stathis, 0417 669 223

Prime Minister’s Press Office

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Pauline Hanson gives thumbs up to Indian Migration to Australia

By : Surinder Jain.

Pauline Lee Hanson is an Australian politician and a Senator representing the state of Queensland. She is also the founder and leader of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party (PHON). Despite Hanson’s repeated denials of charges of racism,[13] her views on race and immigration have been discussed widely in Australia. In her maiden speech, Hanson proposed a drastic reduction in immigration with particular reference to immigrants from Asia. Condemning multiculturalism, her One Nation party has rallied against government immigration and multicultural policies.[20] Hanson publicly backed Kevin Andrews, then Minister for Immigration under John Howard, in his views about African migrants and crime.[25]

Senator Pauline Hanson (source : Wikipedia)

Hindu Council of Australia, in association with the Hon Coleman MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs and Senator the Hon Zed Seselja Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance, celebraterd Deepawali festival and Annakut in the Great Hall of the Federal Parliament House in Canberra on Monday December 3, 2018. Pauline was one of the honored guests at Diwali.

Although Diwali has been celebrated at federal Parliament for over ten years now, it was the first time that Pauline Hanson joined. “This is the first time I have ever been to this event. I am not anti-migrant at all.” She said that she did not see any  problem with Indians migrating to Australia.  She expressed her happiness for having joined Diwali festivities. “It’s very special what I understand as a community. I am still learning. I don’t understand it fully but I think as a member of parliament and a national political party, it’s nice to be a part of it and I support the Indian community on this special day.”

[Read more …]

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NT Parliament celebrates Diwali

By : Shashi Khanna.

Northern Territory government celebrated the Indian festival of lights ,Diwali at Darwin, Parliament house. The beautiful huge structure of Parliament stands besides the water front. Amazing sunset adorned this festivity further at the lush green lawns of the Parliament. 
 
Extremely warm and whole heartedly welcome awaited the Indian community at the hall. All dressed up in their best of attires , Indian colourful dresses and sarees, chirpy girls swaying in their flowing dresses and men in their kurta pajama or semiformals, proudly represented India in this far away land of Australia. 
Minister for multicultural affairs along with her council lighted the lamp with Hindu society President . Well organised and beautifully synchronised dance performances by Indian community children mesmerized all . Saraswati Vandana , Rajasthan folk dance and much applauded performances brightened the atmosphere further. Heart felt speeches by the minister of Council showing the warmth and welcome of the Indian community in the society was motivating. The contributions of Indian towards the state, culture and society is appreciable. 
Every one wanted to have the best of the clicks as the cherished memories . High tea with Indian snacks and drinks added an Indian aroma to the atmosphere. 
 
A well organised evening of festivity and celebration concluded with Indian diaspora meeting each other and the members of the council in a very informal atmosphere of love, harmony and happiness which is the message of Diwali , spreading love light and happiness all over. 
 
Again ,on my personal note it seemed like a dream for me. I had to convince myself that I’m attending Diwali celebration by a state government in Continent of Australia. It was a wow moment for me. Of course, the efforts and hard work of my brothers and sisters who are settled here and contributing towards the society and country. Their efforts to spread the rich Indian culture is worth recognition and appreciation. It was pride to see many second generation Indians well absorbed in the government protocol. 
 
I felt like my purpose of visiting Australia during DIWALI Times is well served. Again congratulations and salute to the wonderful , amazing,  diligent Indian diaspora in Australia. Well done , kudoos guys !! Pride India Proud Indian!!

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Diwali celebrated in Strathfield

By : Rajeev Bhandula.

Hindu Council of Australia celebrated Deepawali in Strathfield on 18th November 2018 at Strathfield Park. The event was supported by Strathfield Council.

Diwali in Strathfield 2018

Over 1500 people attended from different communities including Australians and korean community. Jody Mckay Member of Parliament of state from strathfield and Gulian Vacari Mayor of Strathfield attended the event and welcomed by Mr.Jay Raman NSW President Hindu Council of Australia NSW.

There were 12 stalls which include Food, Real Estate, Indian dresses,Yoga stall and Ekal Youth stall. There were Free Rides and Free Mehndi which was attraction for children and Ladies.

Cultural Programme started from 11am and went through till 4.30pm. There were classical dances, Bollywood Dances and songs which were sung by Mr Vijay Jogia well known singer in Australia.

Nice Weather helped the event as well. Overall event was well recieved and enjoyed
by attendees.

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Anglican Retirement Village in Sydney celebrates Diwali

The Ponds is a new suburb of Sydney situated in the North West growth corridor, where the first stage of a major shopping centre and commercial space have opened. The new suburb was designed to make the estate a new community. The first lots of land were released on 31 March 2007.

There are a number of churches, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Every Nation Christian Church, Blessed John XXIII Catholic Church, Our Lady of the Rosary, Rouse Hill Anglican Church, The Salvation Army – Rouse Hill Region , Hillsong Church, NewHope Baptist Church and Life Anglican Church Quakers Hill.

The residents of Anglican Retirement Village celebrating Diwali

Anglican Retirement Villages, Diocese of Sydney (ARV) was a not-for-profit public benevolent institution formed in 1959. ARV retained its distinctive Christian and social credentials, and served some 6000 people across community care, independent living and assisted living services.

Anglican retirement village in The Ponds celebrated Diwali for its residents, most of them Christians. Mr Tara Chand Sharma, Director, Hindu Council of Australia attended the retirement village Diwali celebration and explained to them the significance of Diwali.

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Hindu chaplains help Hindu Women prisoners in Melbourne

By : Makaran Bhagwat, Melbourne.

Hindu Council of Australia (Vic) currently has volunteer spiritual care providers (Hindu Chaplains) who have been providing their services in the health care system and are now extending it to other areas include prisons.

The chaplains received following request from a female prison :

A Women’s Prison in Victoria : We currently have an Indian woman here  who follows Hinduism and she has requested to be linked in with someone from a Hindu Temple. It was suggested that you might be able to assist with organising someone to come in and meet with her. I am also seeking some advise in regards to her celebrating Shradh. She has requested specific food items for these celebrations, but I have not had much luck through the prison, so was hoping you might be able to direct me in regards to this as well.

 
We visited the Centre and had an opportunity to meet the 2 inmates requesting this meeting.
 
It appears that both of them have 2 main requirements / requests to be granted, which are related to the Hindu faith and Indian ethnicity, which Hindu Council of Australia  are able to fulfill.
 
We were told that in the multifaith chapel at the centre, while there were provisions for other faiths, there is nothing at present for the Hindu faith.
 
We can assist here by providing, religious texts, and also picture frames of Hindu Gods which can go on the Chapel wall to support their prayers.
 
Secondly, both of them were saying that the other inmates belonging to other  communities, could buy the food items of their taste and choice from the store within their weekly allowance. Unfortunately there is no Indian grocery available for them to cook food of their choice. Again on this point Hindu Council of Australia can assist by engaging with the Centre to identify some basic items, like spices, Basmati rice, lentils etc so that they can be purchased for their cooking needs.
 
In addition to this, for the forthcoming important Hindu festival “Diwali” ,the festival of lights, they would like to light a candle at the current interfaith place / chapel.
 
Overall it was a good visit and we have given them some printouts of the prayers, which can hopefully bring in some positive feeling in them in the current circumstances.
 
Makarand Bhagwat
Director
Hindu Council of Australia (Vic)

 

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Parliament House Diwali 3rd Dec

3rd December 2018 in Federal Parliament house, Canberra.

Click here to join bus trip from Sydney for Canberra Diwali

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Diwali ArtSpace exhibition opened by Mayor of Strathfield

A Diwali themed Arts Exhibition with paintings, sculptures and other Art works was declared “open” by the Mayor of @StrathfieldCouncil and Dr Bala Subramaniam AOM on 9th November 2018. The Mayor congratulated Hindu Council for organizing such a wonderful art exhibition.

Lord Mayor of Strathfield

The event was also attended by Jodi McKay, MP and by Councillor Karen Pensabene.

Jodi McKay MP

Strathfield Council in recognition of its multicultural community is doing a series of exhibitions of its diverse cultures. Hindu or Diwali ArtSpace exhibition is the sixth and last in the series and was done jointly by the Strathfield Council and Hindu Council of Australia.

Some of the artists in first row with Sonali and Karren

The exhibition consists of works of 14 Artists and 9 budding Artists with some only as old as 12 years. They have produced Paintings, Jewelery, Ceramics and Glass art works.

The paintings are at display in High Street Strathfield South library. Over 100 people attended the opening ceremony and spent their time going through the paintings. All paintings are available for sale with entire proceeds going to the Artists.

Ashwani Jain, Kati and Sonali with some of the paintings

Six paintings were sold during the opening ceremony itself, which according to Library Art curator Kati is a very good response. The exhibition is open till 20th November 2018.

 

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Strathfield Diwali 18th Nov

Strathfield Diwali Festival 18th November 11am to 4pm.

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