NSW Chapter

Hindu Council has been very active in NSW from its inceptions. Its featured activity is celebration of Diwali event every year which is attended by over 20,000 people every year. Here is a list of some of the main activities of the NSW Chapter of Hindu Council of Australia.

  • Deepavali festival with burning of Ravan effigy
  • Deepavali in suburbs
  • Holi celebration in suburbs
  • Janmashtami in suburbs
  • Hindu Chaplaincy in hospitals
  • Hindu benovolent fund to provide financial help to people in distress
  • Participation in Youth Parliament of World’s Religion
  • Karma Kitchen to feed homeless people
  • Interfaith activities
  • International Yoga Day
  • International Women’s Day

NSW Chapter – Recent Activities

Divine Steps Festival

Divine Steps Festival held to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak . What started off as a simple idea to bring communities from all walks of life together, became Sydney’s first ever multi-faith music festival to commemorate Guru Nanak’s philosophy of universal humankind and oneness.

The Divine Steps Festival saw:
– 4,000 amazing attendees
– 4,000 free bottles of water distributed
– 3,500 free vegetarian meals served (Langar)
– $2,400 raised from the sale of pre-loved Indian clothing and accessories
– 500 free vegetarian meals for the homeless
– 500 turbans tied giving the people of sydney an experience of the crown of Sikhi.
– 400 kilos of free vegetarian pakodas (fritters) and chai tea
– 150+ participants in 4 charity walks
– 150+ free health check-ups
– 150+ artists from 6 different faiths – Baha’i, Christian, Hindus, Jews, Muslim and Sikhs performed
– 100+ dedicated volunteers
– 55 young and old Australian sang Australian National Anthem
– 41 original pieces of art on Guru Nanak’s life and teachings
– 16 performances and 7 hours of divine music from Sikh and multi-faith groups
– 8 cyclists riding over 300km from Canberra to Sydney
– 4 parliamentarians to grace the occasion
– 2 amazing Australian charities supported: Can Too Foundation and Father Riley’s Youth Off The Streets – raising $30,000.00
– All in the spirit of being ONE

“Love for One and Love for All”

The event was attended by various Government dignitaries including Hon. Dr Geoff Lee MP, Gurmesh Singh MP , Mr. Julian Leeser MP and Michelle Rowland MP.

We will soon be sharing all the pictures from the festival on the Sikh Youth Australia Facebook page so do look out for them. In the meantime, here is a link to a media article on the festival: https://www.indianlink.com.au/born-to-stand-out-divine-steps-festival/

“Sikh Youth Australia would like to extend its sincere thanks to Hindu Council of Australia and participants from your community who attended and made the Divine Steps Festival a huge success. Hope that the friendship and ties created during this festival grow with time and all of us collaborate on achieving the basic principles of universality and equality for all.”

Hindu Council’s massive Deepavali festival celebrations at Bella Vista Farms, Sydney

By: Gayatri Nair.

Hindu Council’s massive Deepavali festival celebrations at Bella Vista Farms, Sydney

Late American Composer John Milton Cage had once said, “We carry our homes within us which enables us to fly”; a sentiment that succinctly encapsulates the immigrant experience worldwide. For we carry within us a home not built of bricks and stones but values, traditions and our culture, empowering us to set new roots and prosper in lands far away.

However, some days the call from our homeland is too strong for our hearts to ignore; especially during festivals. Occasions like Deepavali acutely remind us how far some of us are from our country. The smell of smoky diyas, enticing sounds of late evening aartis, and glorious fireworks are terribly missed, and suddenly the gap between our memories and immediate surroundings becomes wider.

It is this gap that Hindu Council of Australia has been trying to bridge since its inception in 1998 through various initiatives including their mega Deepavali festival.

On most days, Bella Vista Farms located on Elizabeth MacArthur Drive, Sydney looks like a typical suburban Australian farm complete with farm animals. But on October 20, it took on an Indian hue. The farm was the venue for Hindu Council’s 21st Deepavali celebrations, which was a sight to behold. The gala comprised various activities, including colourful Rangolis, dance competitions, lip-smacking food, and massive fireworks, among others.

As one entered the venue, smells of familiar and much love Indian food wafted in- pav bhaji, various mouth-watering chaats, dabeli, pani puri, South Indian filter coffee, and even Mango Lassi! Though there were many other stalls – those selling sarees, bags with intricate designs, and paintings – it were the food stalls that got everyone excited!

Attendees were not only treated to food and goodies, but also some amazing dance performances. Talented dancers displaying an array of genres – contemporary, Bollywood, and traditional- entertained everyone. A special performance by a Burmese dance group enthralled the audience with their use of traditional garb and folk music.

The festival was graced by numerous dignitaries including MP Jodi McKay NSW Labor Leader and Member for Strathfield, and State Member for Granville and former Lord Mayor Julia Finn, both of whom dazzled in beautiful Kanchipuram sarees. The loudest cheers, however, were reserved for Julian Leeser, Member for Berowra, whose flawless speech in Hindi took everyone in the audience by surprise.

By nightfall, Bella Vista Farm had morphed into a vibrant festive hub – reminiscent of Deepavali celebrations back in India. Hordes of Indian-Australians, dressed in their finest, came together to observe the festival of lights.

The night concluded with Ravan Dahan (burning of Ravan’s effigy) and a fabulous display of fireworks; a true manifestation of Deepavali’s message – the ultimate triumph of good over evil, light over darkness.

The smells, tastes, sounds and colours of Bella Vista Farms on October 20 transported some of us, for a brief period, back to India; a home that we carry in our hearts even as we fly far and wide.

Wish you all a very happy Deepavali. Hope the light of the festival kills the darkness that exists both outside and within us.

Diwali celebration by Hindu Council of Australia

Glimpses of Diwali event at Bella Vista Sydney, organized by Hindu Council Australia.

Posted by SBS Hindi on Wednesday, 23 October 2019

 

Invitation to the Divine Steps Festival

Sydney Comes Together as One – Divine Steps Festival

10 November 2019 | Pyrmont Bay Park

 
 

Sydney Comes Together as One on 10 November – Your Invitation to the Divine Steps Festival

On Sunday 10 November 2019 (9am to 4pm) at Pyrmont Bay Park, Pyrmont, the multifaith community of Sydney shall join together for NSW’s first ever Divine Music Festival to celebrate unity, faith and humanity, in honour of the legacy Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Guru of the Sikh faith.

Hindu Council of Australia is partnering with Sikh Youth Australia and 26 multifaith organisations across Sydney in putting this event together.

Alongside members of other faith communities, enjoy FREE Divine musical performances (Choirs, Bhajans, Qawwalis, Kirtan, Prayers, Chanting and Poems by various faiths), Delicious Langar (free Indian vegetarian food), Religious exhibitions, Charity walks, Interfaith stalls and Children’s activities (including face painting, henna, and jumping castles) – all right in the heart of Sydney. There will be no alcohol or non-vegetarian food served at the Festival.

WAYS YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

1. Follow us on Facebook: Join the Divine Steps Festival page to keep up to date with exciting announcements, sneak-peak photos and more!

Click for event updates and more
2. Register to join a Charity Walk on the day to raise funds for in support of Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets, and the Can Too Foundation.
I want to help raise money for charities
3. Join us on the day! Bring your friends along to share the Divine Steps Festival experience with them!
I’ll be there…and I’ll bring a friend!
We hope you join us as part of this unique opportunity for Sydney to come together and celebrate a message of progressiveness and humanism with the wider Australian community

UNSW Deepvali 2019 invitation

Deepavali Invitation from UNSW Hindu Society

🙏🏼#HinduCouncilofAustralia thanks the UNSW Hindu Society for their support and welcome message to the #Deepavali2019 event at the Bella Vista Farms on the 20th October✨💥 Make this the Deepavali event to remember!✅For tickets to the event please press on the link below: 👇🏽https://www.ibazaar.com.au/event/hca Hindu Council Deepavali at Bella Vista Farms Deepavali Festival of Lights 2019 at Martin Place Hindu council Australia Deepavali Rousehill Rouse Hill Town Centre Martinplace Sydney Events Upcoming Indian Events in Australia Sam Sharma Shikhaa Sharma Suman Saha Sameer Pandey Sanjeev Bhakri ISKCON Sydney Temple Sanjeev Goyal Suresh Vashist Hindu Council Australia Hindu Council Australia-SA Deepavali Fair Sydney – The Indian Festival of Lights

Posted by Hindu Council Australia on Monday, 7 October 2019

Invitation Ravan Dahan

💥✨#HinduCouncilofAustralia wishes everyone a Happy Dussehra

*Dasha Hara* is a Sanskrit word which means removal of ten bad qualities within us….

*_Ahankara_* (Ego)
*_Amaanavta_* (Cruelty)
*_Anyaaya_* (Injustice)
*_Kama vasana_* (Lust)
*_Krodha_* (Anger)
*_Lobha_* (Greed)
*_Mada_* (Over Pride)
*_Matsara_* (Jealousy)
*_Moha_* (Attachment)
*_Swartha_* (Selfishness)

Hence, also known as *’Vijaydashami’* signifying *’Vijaya’* over these ten bad qualities.

🙏🏼Join us for Ravan Dahan on 20 October for #Deepavali2019 at the Bella Vista Farms 🎆

#40feetRavanDhavan
#10HeadsRavan
#SpectularFireworks

Paada Yatra – come rain or shine

Paada.yatra “come rain or shine” – Was it a true test of our determination to walk, come rain or shine or was the rain welcoming us for our determination to support the drought cause once again. Rain is the source of joy, happiness, optimism, destination, future and so on for an agrarian society.Rain is the lifeline, this year we walked again to support our drought hit farmers and our feelings have going one step beyond towards the animals who cannot demand for food and water and live with what they can find around. During this walk we pledged to support “Gow Shala” in Hunter Valley run by ISKON.

We had a delayed start to give ourselves time to gather and start the walk, we were welcomed by Hon. Dr. Hugh McDermott (MP Prospect) and Clr. Sameer Pandey (Parramatta Councilor) and kicked off the walk. It was so nice to see so many new faces and youth joining the walk from Murugan Sri Lankan Temple to Sai Mandir Sydney. Some walked with ponchos on and some with umbrellas and some enjoying the rain as-is. With the same enthusiasm and energy, we started walking down backstreets of Parramatta towards great western hwy, as we went rain poured onto uson and off all along the way to Sai Mandir Sydney in Strathfield. We wanted to present some rough statistics of participation in the yatra this year (attached)

We were welcomed at Strathfield Sai Mandir by Hon. Jodi McKay , leader for Labor party NSW and Smt. Aruna Chandrala where many of the walkers finished their yatra and many more joined us from there to continue to Sri Venkateswara Temple, Helensburgh, NSW. As always, we had participants joining us from inter-state and from different parts of NSW (Dubbo, Central Coast, Port Macquarie and Canberra) some who are experiencing and seeing the drought closely and understand that more than us who live in suburbs of Sydney.

@Rama Bale ji and the team at the Sai Mandir has cooked yummy breakfast again this year. Delicious south indian breakfast and plenty of snacks for kids.
Temple arranged for a special aarti for yatri’s. After the aarti Jodi McKay addressed the yatris and cheered for them and supported our cause with encouraging words.After all these little ceremonies yatris have started their walk again towards Sri Venkateswara Temple, Helensburgh, NSW.

The walk continued to Como park without any problems, where we all had good lunch sponsored by one of the walker / volunteer @Sundari Ji, from there we continued the walk up to Engadine and the yatri’s were taken in cars / vans to the beginning of the temple road. We all walked together from there to temple and finished the walk. This year we had walkers from 8 years to 80 years. We cannot conclude this article with out commending Tuljeshwar (10 yrs) who was the youngest to walk up to Helensburgh and the oldest 70+ yrs who walked up to Strathfield and their energy and enthusiasm was so inspirational and addictive.

Temple was buzzing with devotees as it is the 6th day of the #Brahmotsavam at Vishnu temple. we all had amazing #darshan of Lord Sri Venkateshwara.

Vision –
Our vision is to keep our traditions and culture alive and at the same time organise the event properly so that many others have chance to participate and reap the benefits of #bhakti, spirituality and health.

Doing it over the long weekend makes it better and even better if it coincides with festivals in the temple. We are yet to get full walk permission from government authorities, but we are very hopeful that very soon we will get this approved and we can complete the walk in full. We have started to tie this auspicious walk to a noble cause a couple of years ago and this year we are raising funds for “#drought” affected areas of #NSW again. We are aiming to raise around $3000 for the cause Hindu Benevolent Fund.

Apart from keeping the traditions alive and our community fit, we are passing on this ancient tradition to our future generation to keep it and take it forward into the future in this wonderful multi-cultural country. On behalf of Hindu Council Australia and Paada.yatra team we congratulate all participants and wish to see you all who are reading this article to participate in the walk next year.

Buy Deepavali Tickets Online

Stand with India

One nation, one constitution spirit has become a reality now by abrogating of Articles 370 and 35A

What was the reason behind revocation of Article 370 and 35A?
The system that prevailed over the past seventy years had aggravated separatism and given birth to terrorism. It had encouraged dynastic rule and in a way strengthened the foundations of corruption and discrimination.

Indian constitution guarantees secular and democratic governance for all Indians irrespective of their race and religion. Unfortunately Kashmir Valley of J & K state , which has a 70% Muslim population in 1947 at the time of joining the union of independent India, has now become 96.4% Muslim due to the genocide, terror and discrimination of its Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities, especially the people known as Kashmiri Pandits.

Article 370 is a Temporary, transitional provisions it’s NOT “Special“. Some of the discriminatory and non-democratic provisions of Article 370 will shock the law-makers and citizens of Australia.

Kashmir has a separate constitution, diverse to the secular and democratic foundations of the Indian constitution; this literally amounts to dual citizenship

A non-Kashmiri marrying a Kashmiri does not have any rights in Kashmir
No rights to minorities and victimization of other tribes.
Human waste was still carried out on head with bare hands in Jammu Kashmir because of 370.
Right to Information law (RTI) applies to all of India except in Kashmir
Prohibition of Child marriage law, child labour prevention applies all of India except Kashmir
Astonishingly, per Article 35A, Kashmir’s Hindu Valmiki community can only work as sweepers in the state, despite being educated

In 1948, Government of India complained to the UN Security Council under Article 35 of UN Charter on aggression by Pakistan. In several forums, including the UN, the following atrocities by Pakistan on the cohorts below have been highlighted.

Pakistan Occupied Jammu Kashmir(POJK) Refugees
West Pak Refugees
Kashmiri Hindu displaced from the Kashmir Valley in 1990
War displaced persons from Chamb in 1947, 1965 and 1971.
Terrorism affected people of Jammu and Kashmir region
Human rights violations in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB)
Demographics are being changed by introducing Chinese, Punjabis and pakhtoons of others regions to GB.
As an example, a few details about the GB region;
80% of schools are not functioning, no higher education facility
Lack of basic infrastructure like roads
Status of women is so poor, women are still treated as mere sex objects
Women have no right to education and work

The abrogation of Article 370 and 35A has been carried out in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha (upper and lower house) by two-thirds majority. This means that everyone wanted this decision, but perhaps they were waiting for somebody to initiate the same and carry it forward.

Poverty reduction and empowerment
Equal opportunity creation at par with rest of India, in education and jobs
Development as a Medical tourism hub for the Middle East and East Asia
International exposure to the local handicraft industry and culture
Promotion as a premium tourism destination at par with European standards
Dalit brothers and sisters living there, get the rights which they have been deprived of so far.
Women of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh get their rights.
Rights are enjoyed by tribals in India is now enjoyed by Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh communities like Gujjars, Bakarwals, Gaddis, Sippies or Balties- all such communities must be empowered with political rights.

The dream of Ék Bharat Shreshtha Bharat is fulfilled now.

Easy Access BellaVista venue,

#HinduCouncilofAustralia is celebrating the biggest #Deepavali2019 at the Bella Vista Farms

✅Easy Access to the venue, please see post below for all the different modes of transport available to access the venue 👇🏽

Bella Vista Farm
Norwest Blvd & Elizabeth MacArthur Drive, Bella Vista NSW 2153
(02) 9843 0555

https://goo.gl/maps/qcd7ZrN8VzWCaUCw6

Lord Ganapati Maha Aarti

🙏🏼#HinduCouncilofAustralia embraces our Culture and Tradition

🙏🏼 Join us for the Maha Aarti at the #Deepavali2019 event at Bella Vista Farms and begin the festivities by creating positive energy as a community
For more information on stalls, cultural activities and more :
Press the link 👉🏼www.deepavali.com.au

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