Archives for October 2018

Diwali ArtSpace final 2018 Catalogue

The final catalogue of all arts entries for 2018 Diwali ArtSpace.

ArtSpaceCatalogue-DAE-Catalogue-5-Online
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Haifa Day Centenary Celebrated in Sydney Australia

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, an organization representing Jews in the New South wales state celebrated the centenary of the day the city of Haifa in Israel was liberated a hundred years ago. Over 100 members of the #Jewish and #Indian communities commemorated this 100th anniversary of the liberation of #Haifa during #WWI at Parramatta & District Synagogue. in North Parramatta on the evening of 21st October 2018.

Left:Linda Ben-Mashe, middle:Tara Sharma, Right:Mala Mehta and Shobha Deshiken

Lynda Ben-Mashe thanked Hindu Council of Australia for prompted the Jewish community of Sydney about the importance of Haifa Day and helping start the celebrations. Hindu Council was represented by its Directors Tara Sharma, Vijai Singhal and Surinder Jain.

Peter Allen-President NSW JBD, Surinder Jain-VP Hindu Council, Vijai Singhal-Director Hindu Council

Peter Allen, President of NSW Jewish Board of Deputies welcomed everyone. A historical record of Haifa day liberation and the valiant role of Indian troops was narrated by a historian. A Kathak dance by Niharika Sanghi and Pvitra Hathi enchanted everyone.

This was followed by reminiscences of childhood in Banglore by Renne who was born in banglore. Her mother still lives there while Renee has moved to Israel.

The final Indian bollywood style dance song by Loira Itzhak in Hebrew was enjoyed by everyone making the audience as well host dancing on the floor.

 

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An auspicious beginning of first SRE Hinduism class by Hindu Council

By : Madya Lila.

On the auspicious occasion of Dusshera, Hindu Council of Australia began its first Hindu Special Religious Education (SRE) program at Sydney Girls High School. Genedine Sionillo, a volunteer teacher from the Australian School of Meditation & Yoga led the class which was very well received by all the students. They especially enjoyed Genedine’s introduction to Bhagavad Gita. The SRE classes at Sydney Girls High School will continue each Friday for the remainder of the school term.

What is SRE?

Special religious education (SRE) is the beliefs and practices of an approved religious persuasion delivered by authorised representatives of that persuasion. It is the distinctive religious tenets and beliefs of the home and family, provided by the churches and other religious groups for children of parents expressing the desire that they receive such teaching.

The NSW Government, through legislation and related policy, recognises the diversity of Australian society and supports parental choice in educating children about their faith. The delivery of Special Religious Education (SRE) is managed by religious persuasions, which are approved as SRE providers by the Department of Education.

SRE is mandated by the Education Act (1990) and gives parents the choice to have children formed in the faith of their family. Section 32 of the Education Act says that ‘In every government school, time is to be allowed for the religious education of children of any religious persuasion.’

The provision of SRE is not funded by government.

The Hindu Council of Australia is registered as an authorised provider of SRE with the NSW Department of Education.

In 2019, HCA will provide Hindu SRE classes in a further six high schools in the Sydney area and will continue to expand the program over the coming years.

If you would like to volunteer to teach Hindu SRE classes, or if you would like to sponsor the cost of teaching materials please contact us at sre@hinducouncil.com.au   

 

By Veena.svg: Sreejithk2000derivative work: Gringer (talk) – Veena.svg, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11886656

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Ramnavami celebrated in Darwin Australia

By : Shashi Khanna.

Multi cultural community celebrate Ramnavmi & Ashtami at Malak temple , Darwin NT

Ramnavmi,birth of Lord Rama who is incarnation of God Vishnu(the creator) as said beautifully in Hindu scripture ‘Ramayana’.Its also the ninth day of Navratri – the 9 auspicious days of Puja and celebrations in India. All the regions and states in India celebrate these days in various forms and different styles.
Malak temple at Darwin at Northern Territory in Australia had crowd of chirpy devotees who gathered to celebrate this day. Durga Puja in Harmony hall which is adjoining the temple was continuing for past eight days. The Malak temple also known as Sri Sai temple is constructed in South India architectural design, beautiful colourfully carved tomb had idols of many deities over the Shivalinga. Idols of Lord Krishna , Nataraj , Ganesh ji adorn the temple room along with Goddess Lakshmi ( prosperity), Saraswati (wisdom & knowledge) and Durga ( power & strength) pictures hung on the ‘ parikarma’ ( the circular path around the main deity also  to look & bow before every form of God ). 
 
 
Many Lamps were lighted with Prasad offered by devotees layed on the huge table in front. The fragrance of flowers added to the pious atmosphere. 
 
The evening started with recital of Mantras from Vedas, all singing rhythmically with the temple priest and devotees. Singing in praise of Lord Shiva and applauding his grace in different forms mesmerized every one. Love and God’s praise doesn’t know any language or words but yes the emotions and feelings of every one present was connected to Almighty. Devotional bhajans followed, sung by devotees who sang with great zeal and enthusiasm. 
 
Hawan was performed in the temple compound with all rituals and blessings for everyone present and their families. 
 
It was really wonderful to see people from different states of India who have their roots there but still celebrate their values and beliefs as a united family in this foreign land. It seemed like a big joint family calling for God’s blessings togather. The importance of Yagya and hawan in this age of awareness of environmental pollution is scientifically proven. 
 
Community meals followed with food volunteered by members. A big feast of different tastes and delicacies further flavoured the divine and cultural atmosphere. 
 
I can’t hold myself to share my personal emotions to participate in these celebrations. India may be divided in various states but here I found ‘ a strong Indianness’ where all gathered to celebrate and be a part of everybody’s happiness and joy. All communities celebrate each and every festival giving regard and respect to every culture. I find myself awestruck to see the Fiji Indian community participating in the Vedic rituals. It is surely to be acknowledged how this group has been able to pass that cultural heritage to their generations who follows our spiritual heritage of Vedic times with all the perfection and zeal.
 
The vibrant support , participation and contribution Fiji Indian community is doing to save gaurd the prosperous and enriched Indian spirituality and philosophy is commendable. They are for sure an example for Individuals who have lost track, faith and trust in our Indian culture and pride of our oldest History of Hinduism. 
 
I salute and bow to their unmonitored and untaught zeal of religious heritage and their ancestors who were blessed with this vow. This will always have special place in my heart and mind followed in my writings. 
 
 
 
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Durga Puja celebrated in Darwin Australia

By: Shashi Khanna.

MA DURGA’S BLESSINGS AT DARWIN,NT

Cultural Harmony at Harmony Hall , Darwin! 

October 13,2018 another cultural and religious initiative by the Indian community at Darwin. The occasion was the Durga Puja, first time celebrated at this magnanimous scale. The Puja & Durga society of Northern Territory was the organising body but a beautiful amalgam of all cultures and regions was witnessed at this beautifully managed event .
 Goddess Durga in her various incarnations of mother ,’Ma’ as affectionately called in Indian culture adorned a huge stage. The colourful , bright radiant stage with beautiful Rangoli ( the welcome symbols made as floor decorations with bright colours and flowers) welcomed all to a packed hall. Kum Kum and artistic paint work done on every lady who entered the hall clad in colours of red. Red colour in Indian attire being the dress code, one could see blooming ladies, chirpy girls swaying in bright Indian dresses. 
 

Darwin, NT, Australia 2018

 
Red being the Colour of holiness, vibrance,jubilation and prosperity in Indian mythology is worn usually by married women who are considered to be the symbol of all prosperity ( Goddess of Lakshmi). 
 
Durga Puja ,the 9 days of celebration of ‘Navratri ‘ is observed twice in a year .One in spring and this one in autumn, welcoming two seasons winters and summers. ‘Nau’ means nine in Hindi is celebrated for nine days .  The eighth day observed as ‘Ashtami’ when young girls are worshipped, celebrating the birth of a girl. To respect and regard the womenfolk of our families and society, giving them equality and honouring them for their mother hood.  Durga Puja celebrated in various parts of India has different rituals but eminently celebrated in Bengal, Gujarat and North India. 
 
Navratri also observed as fasting days for detoxification for our system, special kind of foods are eaten during these fasting days which ends on ‘Ashtami’ Pujan ,the eight day. Then ninth day as Ram navmi’ and tenth day as ‘ Dusshera’ when Lord Rama killed Ravana, as the mythological story says. 
 
Durga Puja is also celebrated as victory of good over evil. It’s not only the physical evil but the evils ,the devil inside us all, to win over the personality flaws of greed, lust,anger, ego and disillusion. To monitor and control ourselves for our righteousness and for a healthy society filled with respect, love, compassion and harmony amongst all. 
 
The event at Harmony Hall had divine aura of Ma blessing all devotees from various cultures and backgrounds. It seemed like Mini India gathered here. Women from Haryana, Uttrakhand in the north to Chennai and Bangalore in the south, from Rajasthan in the west to Bengal and Assam in the east. Our neighbours from Bangladesh, beautifully dressed participated with zeal and enthusiasm. The luscious Bengla sweets further honeyed the atmosphere when Prasad was distributed with variety of Bengal sweets, all home made ( important to mention). 
 
Puja and Archana was recited by the priest with flowers offered to the Goddess Durga and surrender to Almighty. 108 lamps lighted at the feet of Ma Durga with fruits , flowers and sweets for bhog. Durga Stuti and Saraswati Vandana was melodiously sung by an aged woman which was appreciated by all. Beautiful flower wall had many selfie clicks and added a beautiful background. 
 
Beats of the Dhol and drums swayed all to dance in devotion. The sound of rhythmic clapping captured the atmosphere, seemed like to outreach to Goddess residing in every soul promising to celebrate the journey of life and human birth. 
A sumptuous meal followed which was relished by all concluding with yummy Bengali sweets special ‘ Rasgulla ,Sandesh and Khir. 
 
A lively cultural program followed which was meticulously crafted for the occasion. Every day Navratri Puja is being held at the Hindu temple in Malak area of Darwin, Northern Territory for these 9 days.
 
This whole  day of Durga Puja celebration overtook my soul and how much I thanked ‘Ma’ , my family and myself for being able to witness this grandeur celebration in this far far land of Australia. I couldn’t believe, to see the spirit of participation, hard efforts and planning to solemnize the worship of Ma Durga who is beyond any caste , religion,culture and boundaries of land or ocean. To conclude , I must acknowledge ,how proud and overwhelmed I was of my rich Indian cultural roots which has deep significance to the core of human existence and blending values in its uniqueness. 
 
Thankyou so much Hindu council for allowing me to put my intense emotions into words. I’m grateful to the Puja & Cultural society of NT for this memorable day which I’ll carry across the world through social media platforms. 
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Daniel Mookhey MLC condemns temple attack

181018 Statement on Recent Vandalism at a Sydney Hindu Temple
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Labour MPs condemn temple attack

Labour Mps Message - Regents Park Temple - 2018
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Goddess Kali gets Special Commendation by Woolahra Council in Vaucluse Australia

By : Surinder Jain.

Vaucluse is a harbour suburb in the Woollahra council within Sydney, Australia. It is one of the most fashion and art conscious highly sought after suburb with a very high average income. The Council runs an annual Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize (WSSP) and attracts some of the best artists in Australia and overseas. It brings together a collection of finalists from preeminent to the lesser known.

Pointy Gold Head Kali

WSSP Exhibition

This year it had 46 finalists whose sculptures were on display in the Council building with an entry by Neeraj Gupta from India. The mayor of Woollahra opened the exhibition and announced the prizes. A special commendation prize was awarded to a Kali sculpture made by a Fiji Indian now Australian artist Ramesh. The award was presented to artist Ramesh by the mayor of Woollahra Council Peter M Cavanagh.

 

 

The Kali sculpture called “Pointy Gold Head” was chosen by the judges to be awarded a Special Commendation. The sculpture is a 24-carrat gold plated bronze statue of the face of Goddess Kali with her tongue protruding out. According to its artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, the material used included clay, shells, rubber hoses and cardboard and one can find these objects embedded in the surface. The artwork was made permanent through bronze casting and Gold Plating Process, a direct reference to representations of the Hindu Goddess, Kali.

 

We caught up with the artist and asked him

Q. what inspired you to make a sculpture of Goddess Kali.

A. I was making a face out of various waste material and a sudden inspiration caused me to pull the tongue out. Before I knew it, face of Goddess Kali had already been made.

 

Ramesh with Commendation from Mayor

Q. Why did you Gold Plate the face with 24 carat Gold.

A. To reflect the immense power and glory of the Goddess, I had to imbue it with some thing of extreme value. Pure 24 carat Gold lets that happen.

Q. Where were you born.

A. I was born here in the suburb of Auburn in Sydney though my parents had come to Australia from Fiji.

 

Sri Lankan-born, Sydney-based artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran creates rough-edged, vibrant, new-age idols. He experiments with form and scale in the context of figurative sculpture to explore politics of sex, the monument, gender and religion. Formally trained in painting and drawing his practice has a sculptural emphasis which champions the physicality of art making. These works are often stacked to form totems or perched atop customised plinths.
 
 
While proceeding from a confident atheist perspective, Nithiyendran draws upon his Hindu and Christian heritage as reference points as well as a large range of sources including the internet, pornography, fashion and art history. Self-portraits make frequent appearances and the dual presence of male and female organs suggest gender fluid realms of new possibilities. 
 
He has exhibited at various spaces and contexts including the 2018 Dhaka Art Summit, the encounters section for Art Basel Hong Kong, the Art Gallery of South Australia’s flagship exhibition, the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and The National: New Australian Art 2017. He has presented solo exhibitions at the National Gallery of Australia, The Ian Potter Museum of Art and the Shepparton Art Museum. In 2014, Nithiyendran was awarded the 2014 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (emerging) administered through Artspace. In 2015, he was the winner of the 2015 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award, Australia’s richest and premier award for artists working in the medium of ceramics.
 
His work is held in various collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Artbank, The Ian Potter Museum of Art and the Shepparton Art Museum. The sculpture is available for sale at a price of Australia $19,800.

 

Organizer Lyn with the Author and Neeraj’s Mind’s Eye

Neeraj Gupta from India had also been selected as a finalist for his sculpture Mind’s Eye which was priced at $12,000.

A 3D printed figurine of real people

 

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Diwali Tradition – by French Association of Singapore

By: Fayrouz Yataghane.

Deepavali illuminates us from September 29th to
November 6th


Deepavali also named Divali or Diwali is one of the most
important cele-bration for the Hindu community. It is
celebrated for three consecutive days with the main day
being on November 6th this year. In Singapore preparations
have started end of September in Little India but not only
there…
Deepavali is celebrating the successful fight of Rama,
considered in Hinduism an avatar of Vishnu God, against
Ravana, the demon king. Deepavali refers to the light of
the “dip”, a traditional oil lamp, that people who were
living in Ayodhya town would have placed “in rows”
for welcoming Rama’s return. That is the reason why,
according to the tradition, Indian families illuminate their
houses and streets for Deepavali.

Deepavali all over the world

Deepavali is celebrated by many generations in India and
by Hindu peo-ple all over the world, as confirms Snehal
Thaker, president of the Hindu Council of Australia – HCA.
This organization, which was established in 1998, aims to
unite the Hindu community in Australia and to promote
its culture and tradition. “The HCA has organized the
Deepavali Festival in Australia each year for the last twenty
years. In 2017, over 6000 people from different ethnic
background and ages gathered to attend the celebration.
A success due to the joined efforts of the Hindu
representatives of eight countries: India, Nepal, Bhutan,
Fiji, Bangladesh, Tibet, Indonesia and of course, Australia.”
“This year again, the HCA will organise the Festival. Due
to the large success of the Festival in the past, this year it
will take place at the Adelaide Show Grounds, to respond
to the at-tendees’ expectations in terms of space and
comfort. All is planned to welcome them, and to protect
them against the rain!” says Snehal Thak-er.

Deepavali through the generations

 

Shaheen Sivji

Shaheen Shivji is an Indian woman. She has a fifteenmonth-
old daughter and she is currently working part time
at the French Alliance of Singa-pore. She studied French at
University, back in India, and she continues to learn French
here in Singapore, where she moved to, with her husband
two years ago.
Shaheen doesn’t celebrate Deepavali for religious reasons
because she is not Hindu but Muslim. However, she
explains that this celebration is gathering Indians from all
religions. “Above the myth and the religion, Deepavali
symbolizes the Light. Lights from many different sources
and colour are flashing happily in our streets during the
Festival. For children, this period is really very exciting and
synonym of holidays and sweets! During those three days,
we prepare both savoury and sweet food to of-fer them to
our guests, family and friends. After the prayers, we launch
the fireworks, and everybody can try to make Rangoli, a
drawing de-signed with coloured powders. The women
are wearing a special Sari, particularly well decorated,
and for the men, trousers with a tunic, that depending of
its style, providing some information about the social position
of the person.”
During this period, respect and goodwill are the values
that are highlight-ed: “This moment is a large gathering for
all people, not only family”, says Shaheen.

Sujatha Sundaram is Indian and Hindu. She has been living
in Singapore since 2010. She was born in South India and
lived in North India.

Sujatha Sundram

Sujatha celebrates Deepavali each year as she was doing
back in India. According to her, it is the most important
Festival for Hindus: “We cele-brate it in every place in India,
each region in its own way: in the South, we celebrate it
in the morning, in the North, it is usually in the evening. But
there are also common points: we decorate the house, we
buy new clothes and gold jewellery. We draw Rangoli on
the floor at the entrance of our house, we make cakes for
friends and family, who are invited or visited. And in the
evening, we switch on the lights around the house and
fireworks are launched everywhere! In the past, in India,
we were a big family, living very close to each other. Now
that we are a bit more dis-persed, that event is more social
than religious. The children are still waiting for Deepavali
with great anticipation. They appreciate the conviv-iality
and the festive ambiance and of course the gifts!”

Deepavali through the flavours

Manjunath Mural

La Gazette pushed the doors of the Michelin Star Restaurant
“The Song of In-dia” to meet its famous chef, Manjunath
Mural. He offers to share the Deepavali delights through a
special menu, as a trip across India…

What do you propose for Deepavali celebration?

I’ve prepared a 4-course set menu specially for the
occasion. As per our mis-sion “Journey Through India”, the
menu highlights the specialities of each region all over India –
from North, South, East to West. Of course, no cel-ebration
is complete without enjoying the traditional Indian Mithai
sweets which are a symbol of goodwill and friendship.
Where does the celebration of Deepavali come from?
The origin of the Deepavali festival most likely started out as
a fusion of har-vest festivals across ancient India.

How does the Indian/Hindu community usually celebrate
Deepavali?

Deepavali, or Diwali symbolises light triumphing over
darkness. We Indians of-ten celebrate by decorating our
homes and offices with bright lights and can-dles and
setting off fireworks displays. Of course, we also have our
Mithai sweets that we will give to our friends and family.

What do you aim to share with people through your
cooking?

My philosophy has always been to present a Journey
Through India, that is why the food served at The Song of
India is inspired by traditional recipes from North, South,
East and West India.

Could you tell us about your personal experience as a
chef? And the way that has lead you to the cooking?

During my training in India, I had the chance to meet and
learn from these two chefs both women were originally
from Thailand. While observing them, I was so impressed
with their passion for food and the respect they earned
from the guests and team. It made me realise that this
profession is full of respect and passion and it was at

that moment that I decided to become a chef. My guests are
my motivation. I’m always inspired to create new exciting
dishes that will keep them coming back for more.
Restaurant: The Song of India: 33 Scotts Road 228226
www.thesongofindia.com
Special Deepavali menu available from 3rd to 10th of
November 2018

Deepavali in Singapore

Deepavali Festival in Singapore will mainly take place
in Little India from September 29th to November 6th with
many highlights that should not be missed!
Find more information on the website https://www.littleindia.
com.sg, in-viting you to live the Deepavali experience.
“Head to Little India where the streets are transformed
into a fantasyland of colourful arches and stunning lights.
Wander through the bazaars with their glittering gold and
gems, exquisitely embroidered saris and gleam-ing golden
oil lamps. Inhale the scent of marigolds, roses and jasmine,
thickly braided into lush floral garlands mingling with the
perfume of sweet incense and the fragrance of Indian
spices and Ayurvedic mas-sage oils …”
Let’s just admit it: we are tempted!

Fayrouz Yataghane

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