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.

It was Pauline Hanson’s first time at Diwali celebrations in Canberra, “This is the first time I have ever been to this event. I am not anti-migrant at all.” She added that there’s no problem with Indian migrants and that it was nice to be part of the Indian festival as a national political party, “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 support the Indian community on this special day.”

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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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Hindu Council connects with UWS students for Diwali

Hindu Council of Australia has made contact with University of Western Sydney (UWS) students and had a low key Diwali sweets distribution with them on 8th November 2018. UWS is one of the premier Universities of Sydney and has over 6,000 Indian students many of them from India, studying in it.

Soup

The University holds a light soup and bread session for its Parramatta campus students every Thursday evening at 6pm which provides free food and a place to mingle for all its students. The food distribution is managed by Parramatta Mission and is attended by about 30-40 students every week.

Hindu Council put up some posters about Diwali and supplied Kheer and Diwali sweets. The Mission agreed to our request to have vegetarian only soup and bread for the day. About 50 Australian, Asian and Indian students visited the soup kitchen. There was a visible smile on the faces of Indian students familiar with Diwali and their happiness could be seen beaming from their faces.

Kheer for Students on Diwali Soup Day

One of the students from Gujarat who has been in UWS for two years came up to me and asked if she can touch my feet as she needs blessings of an elder on this new year day. She touched my feet and her act touched my heart.

Students project of Hindu Council aims at connecting University going students with the existing Hindu Community here and to provide emotional support to overseas and away from home students. Bhupinder Chabra and Reshma Krishnappa are helping with this initiative.

Hindu Council Volunteers at UWS kitchen for Diwali

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Diwali becomes an important festival of Australia

By : Surinder Jain.

After Australia abolished it’s whites only immigration policy in the 60s, Indians started migrating to Australia for education and work. Today there are over 450,000 Hindus in Australia who call Australia home.

Marriage Procession through the streets of Parramatta

For many decades Diwali celebrations were a private affair among family or temples. All that changed in 1998 when Hindu Council of Australia started celebrating Diwali at a grand scale in Paramatta Park in western Sydney. Twenty years later, the twentieth year of Diwali in Australia has been a turning point in the history of Indians in Australia. 

Multicultural Australia has accepted Hindus and Indians and have accepted Diwali as a significant Australian celebration, significant enough for the Prime Minister and the Premier to visit and celebrate Diwali festivities. Members of Parliament from all shades of politics joined them. Most MPs were dressed in either Sarees, Salwar Kameez or Indian Kurta.

 

Diwali 2018 Parramatta

Their presence at the festival adorning Indian clothes is a manifestation of Australians having accepted Indians and Hindus as their own.

This Diwali also marks another significant change in Australia. Main stream and very popular radio show hosts like ABC Sydney Radio Breakfast show hosted by Robbie and Wendy and listened to by thousands driving to their work in the morning, welcomed Diwali in their program. 

Robbie Buck and Wendy Harmer.
Credit: ABC Radio Sydney Breakfast

Such inclusion of Diwali in opinion setting Radio shows and presence of political powerful in festivities is something we Hindus feel proud of. We benefit from the success of and feel proud to have called Australia home. Let’s return the favour and make Australia proud of us.

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