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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Ramayana puppet show from Prague performed in Sydney

By : Mohan Vijayraghavan.

Lenka and Eric who are puppeteers from Prague, performed a Puppet Show at Hindu Council of Australia’s Deepavali festival held at Parramatta on 4th November 2018.

Lenka and myself are associated for about 8 years now and have done some shows in Hindu education camps and at the Powerhouse museum but mostly along the lines of European stories since her dolls are all only those types.

Lenka and Eric producers of the Ramanyana Puppet Show

However, making a puppet show for Ramayan was a special challange as she had to make special puppets of animal forms like monkey, deer and dragon as well 1 ten headed Ravana and Bows and Arrows. To help understand the story and characters of Ramayana, Lenka made multiple trips to my house to discuss the scenes and plan and stayed the entire day from 9am until past 11pm to pick up her stuff. It was a labour of love for both of us and Lenka charged only a token amount for providing her services.
I told her she had given so much to our community and this token of money was nothing to show the worth of the program but this show has given me confidence to take it to more children in future across Australia to promote Indian stories.

Children watching the Puppet Show

Mohan and Kavita both associated with Hindu scripture classes at Holsworthy Primary school with the help of Viji wrote the Ramayana story line suitable for a puppet show. All the background and other supporting paintings/drawings and props  (around 20) were sourced out to disabled people from Chennai, India.
On being given a go ahead by Hindu Council, Lenka and myself started doing the ground work and preparing the dolls and drawings. We had few sessions discussing the end-to-end process covering from the birth of Ram until his coronation and came out which scenes we will use puppets and which ones we will talk by showing the drawings so while narrating the story, the puppeteers have enough time to change the scene.
Following key scenes from Ramayana were played by the puppets showing the entire life of adult Rama.
  1. Breaking of bow and Ram/Sita and his brothers marriage
  2. Mantra poisoning the mid of kaikeyi and asking Rama t as o be sent to forest.
  3. Ram,Sita,Lakshmana leaving Ayodhya in chariot drawn by Sumantra.
  4.  Sita asking Rama to catch the deer and Rama going and shooting Maricha (deer)
  5. Sita asking Lakshmana to go and look for Ram
  6. Ravana coming and kidnapping Sita and flying in Pushpak viman.
  7. Jatayu trying to save by fighting with Ravana and falling down dead
  8. Ram and Lakshman meeting Jatayu and hearing the story.
  9. Ram,Lakshman meeting Hanuman
  10. Fight between Vali and Sugriva and Vali getting killed. (in this scene we gave a bow to boys in the audience and made them shoot vali)
  11. Hanuman flying over the ocean, encountering the dragon.
  12. Hanuman meeting Sita in Ashoka vanam.
  13. Hanuman flying back and narrating story to Rama.
  14. Rama and Ravana fight (even here boys were given bow to shoot Ravana and pretend they are Rama)
  15. Returning to Ayodhya and Rama’s coronation.
The other scenes from Rama’s birth were narrated to the audience, giving  sufficient time to change to the puppeteers to change the scenes.
We did one show at 3pm and then another one at 6pm. But it was such a roaring success that, literally we were dragged to do the third one around 7pm and even after that people came sitting and asking when is the next show. By 7.30 we had to close the shop.
Those who came really liked it and commented that they had not seen this before.

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Diwali celebrated in Parramatta

By : Surinder Jain. (Photographs by Vijay Maharaj and Dharmendra Modi)

Hindu Council of Australia celebrated its 20th Diwali at Parramatta Park on 3rd and 4th November 2018. Saturday the 3rd was marked by Sri Sitarama Kalyanam and Ram Lila while Sunday the 4th was Sri Sitarama Pattabhishekam, Ram Lila, Ravan Dehan and fire works.

Sri Sitarama being welcomed back on the temple stage

The event attended by about 30-40,000 people was inaugurated by Mayor of Parramatta Lord Andrew Wilson. Prime Minister of Commonwealth of Australia Scott Morrison, Premier of NSW Gladys Berejiklian and many Ministers, shadow Ministers and MPs from both sides of political spectrum were present.

The crowds have just started to arrive

The show like earlier years had rides for children, food from all corners of India, A large Rangoli, many businesses and sponsors. A recipe and cooking competition with vegetarian ingredients was held.

Culture from all parts of India was on display with dance and music performances.

The temple for Sri Sitarama Kalyanam and coronation was very popular with devotees who participated in rituals being conducted with Utsav Murtis by the priests who had come from Bhadrachalam, telangana, India.

Rama Pattabhishekam or Coronation of Lord Rama

One of the other popular draw cards was the sankeertan by Australian Society of Meditation and Yoga. The young western and non-Indian devotees  enchanted the crowds with their melodious voices and guitars, singing the praise of Lord Krishna and Rama.

Sanjeev Bhakri, Prakash Mehta and Scot Morrison

A Diwali Art exhibition with paintings by local artists was held showing Ram, Madhubani and other genre of paintings.

Bottom row : Bharathi R, family of Prime Minister. Upper row: Minister David Coleman, PM Scot Morrison, Julian Leeser MP, Renga Rajan Director, Prakash Mehta President

Children’s rides were very popular. The Prime Minister visiting with his wife and two young daughters visited the area. His children spend lot of time on the rides having a good time.

Ravan Effigy 2018

An 8 meter tall Ravan was erected. A Ram Lila was performed at the stage and Ram Laxman Sita procession moved to the Ravan effigy area. An arrow from Ram started the burning of Ravan and of the fireworks. Thousands of people enjoyed the fireworks. After the show was over and he event concluded, many visitors did not want to leave and are looking forward to next Diwali.

From Left to Right : Manju Nath HSS, Geoff Lee MP, Nihal Agar Director, Surinder Jain National Vice President, Ashwani Jain NSW Secretary, Sai Pravastu Director


More photos are available at

The Victory of Truth Over EvilFestival celebration full of live music, cultural performances, food, kids activities -…

Posted by Hindu Council Australia on Monday, 5 November 2018





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Office goers crowd relishes Diwali in Sydney

By : Surinder Jain.

Hindu Council of Australia celebrated Diwali festival in Martin Place, the heart of Sydney today on 31st October 2018. Martin Place is a pedestrian mall in the central business district of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Office lunch time crowd

Martin Place has been described as the “civic heart” of Sydney. A water fountain is located on the east side of Pitt Street, near the Commonwealth Bank of Australia building. Behind this fountain is an amphitheatre, which features a stage where Diwali was celebrated.

Martin Place Diwali 2018, Crowd gathered to watch cultural performances

This part of Martin Place has been popular with office goers at lunch time and today was no different.  Hundreds of Australian in well dressed office suits thronged the area. Some came and sat down in the amphitheatre biting their lunch while others were just curious onlookers on their way to and back from take away lunch shops to their offices.

Watching Diwali and sinking in the atmosphere

A number of shops with goods ranging from Indian food to Indian handicrafts and various services like banking, real estate added to the charm of the show for onlookers. Diwali ArtSpace exhibition showing a small sample of two paintings was quite popular exposing many Australians to Hindu Art genre for the first time.

Indian Art work and handicrafts

The program consisted of various classical and bollywood dances by emerging and well known dancers in Sydney. The program was busy with people between 12 to 2pm.


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Cherrybrook Village celebrates Diwali with Hindu Council

By : Surinder Jain.

Hindu Council of Australia in association with Cherrybrook shopping centre celebrated Diwali festival inside the shopping centre on 28th October 2018. Space inside of the shopping centre was converted into a stage for performances, a Saree tying workshop, a Diya painting workshop for children, a free henna workshop and a flower Rangoli that will stay in the centre for a few days even after the festival is over.

Cherrybrook Village Shopping Centre

Federal MP Julian Leeser and state MP Damian Tudehope were present in the event. MP Damien congratulated the Indian community for organizing Diwali festival first time ever in the suburb of Brookvale. MP Leeser comended the Indian and Hindu community in Cherrybrook and invited more Indians to come and live in this area.

Federal MP Julian Leeser in a Kurta saying Happy Diwali

MP Leeser said that Indians and Australians have been working arm in arm since the first World war and that tradition of working together continues till day.

Federal MP Julian Leeser and State MP Damien Tudehope dancing to a Bollywood tune

Both MPs danced with bollywood dance performers on music tunes and stayed until the closing time. Many onlookers who had come to do the shopping joined many of the workshops and got a taste of Diwali festivities. A special Rangoli workshop was arranged to teach people how to make a Rangoli.

Rangoli making workshop

A Hindu Art exhibition was also held.  Paintings of Rama and Krishna were on display for all to see and admire. A mini Ram Leela with Ravan and Ram was held and people were queuing up to take a selfie with both.

Henna workshop

Free Henna shop was quite a hit with both Indian and Australian residents of Cherrybrook.

Teaching how to tie a Saree to young Australians


The Cherrybrook team of Hindu Council who made this festival a success.

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Diwali celebrated in Rouse Hill Shopping Centre

Hindu Council of Australia celebrated Diwali festival with a fun fare and cultural program in Rouse Hill Town Shopping centre on 27th October 2018. Rouse Hill Town Centre is a shopping centre in the suburb of Rouse Hill in the Hills District of Sydney. The Village Centre is the main shopping mall with hundreds of shops, about 5,000 car park spaces and has an open air bazaar like atmosphere. Rouse Hill Town Centre is a true town centre with streets, a Town Square, outdoor dining and a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces.

Main Street, Rouse Hill Town Centre

Diwali festival was celebrated in the Main Street of the Town Centre. The road was closed to traffic and a stage and temporary stall shops selling Indian and Diwali goods and food were set up. The shopping centre visitors were initially curious about the new arrived Hindu Australians performing their dances and bollywood music on the stage.  Soon all shoppers started mingling in the Indian crowd enjoying the atmosphere, food and free henna painting.

Free Henna Painting

Free henna painting saw a beeline of girls and women getting henna on their hands with about a thousand of them many of them local Australians experiencing this form of decorative art from India. This was also a day of Karva Chauth with many Indian women taking advantage of free henna offer.

Children’s Diya painting workshop results

There were free rides for children with inflated castles. There was also a free Diya painting workshop for children. Children were taught how to paint small diyas (mud lamps) and after painting could take the Diya home. Seeing the large number of Australian children taking their own painted Diya home, this activity sure will increase the understanding of Hindu culture by other Australians.

The crowd started gathering around 10am and kept moving in the mela until 5:30pm. All car parks of the shopping centre were full almost throughout the day. The Shopping centre management was surprised at the large turn out and one the managers remarked that Christmas has arrived early in October this year, meaning that we don’t get full parks except for Christmas days shopping period.

Paintings by local artists

Hindu Art paintings were on display showing Art by local Hindu artists. The paintings were available for sale and many of them were snapped as soon as they were put up for sale.

Priests from Bhadrachalam Telangana

Many Hindu temples were there displaying their upcoming venets and appeals to Hindus. Two priests from Bhadrachalam have flown from Bhadrachalam with deities to perform Sri SitaRama Kalyanam on 3rd and 4th of November in Parramatta Park as part of a much bigger Deepavali celebration.

Bhagwat Chauhan, Artist Binali and Surinder Jain



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Diwali ArtSpace final 2018 Catalogue

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


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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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Neeraj Gupta’s sculpture awarded by Australia

Sydney, Australia: The Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, presented by Woollahra Council, today
announced 48 emerging and established artists as finalists for the 18th annual Prize and exhibition. The
finalist group was today from 666 entries this year including artists from Australia, India and the
United Kingdom highlighting the Prize’s growing international reputation.

Delhi, India based artist Neeraj Gupta’s work, titled Drifter – III (2018) challenges what he suggests is
the de-humanisation of art in a modern world of super-technology. Using pigment in white cement to
create a stylised bust, Gupta seeks to reject art as information or reduction and return to art as
emotion, harnessing its mysterious power of transcending history and horizontal time to allow his
viewers to see things acutely.

EXHIBITION DETAILS: A free exhibition of all the finalist sculptures will be presented from Saturday
20th until Sunday 11 November 2018 at Woollahra Council. The winners will be announced at the
launch of the exhibition on 19 October with further details to be provided closer to the time. A series
of Artists’ Talks and Community Workshops will be presented as part of the program.

a national prize for sculptures of smaller dimensions and has attracted strong support from artists,
collectors, benefactors, critics, as well as the local community. The Prize was initiated in 2001 by
Council to support, promote and celebrate artistic excellence, but also to encourage the local
community to access the then, newly renovated Woollahra Council Chambers. The Prize attracts local,
national and international entries each year.

MEDIA CONTACT: To request artist biographies, interviews, imagery and information in relation to the
Prize, please contact Megan Bentley, megan@articulatepr.com.au or Kym Elphinstone,
kym@articulatepr.com.au, 0421 106 139.

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Diwali ArtSpace Nov 8-20 2018

Come and see an Art Exhibition in Strathfield based on Diwali theme.


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