Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today wished happy “Deepavali” to the Indian community living here saying the festival is a powerful reminder that our society is greatly enriched by its diversity.
Stating that Diwali is one of the most important events of the Hindu calender, observed since ancient time, Turnbull said the occassion was “deeply embedded in traditional culture, when families and friends gather together to light diyas, share gifts, and celebrate the triumph of light over darkness.”
“Today Deepavali is enjoyed by many around the world, regardless of background or faith. In Australia, festivities are held in cities, town and homes across our country,” he said.
“Such events bring understanding and appreciation to the broader community, and are a powerful reminder that our society is greatly enriched by its diversity. I encourage everyone to be proud of an Australia where people of different backgrounds and beliefs can be part of our national tradition,” he said.
Meanwhile, Indian community started the celebrations by attending Diwali functions, dinners and festivals which were organised across the country.
In Melbourne, a three day-long event came to an end at the Iconic Federation Square building on Saturday with a special Diwali festival day which was attended by thousands of Indians as well locals.
Fire works, folk dances, Bollywood dances, singing competition, collaborative fusion dances were part of the annual event which was also attended by some famous Australian Footy players.
A separate Diwali event was also organised in Sand Down racecourse in Melbourne attended by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews who wished the diaspora on the occassion.
According to an Indian-origin local councillor Intaj Khan, “Diwali is an important festival in the Australian calender and this year Wyndham council allocated over USD 24,000 towards its celebration for the Indian community.”
A delegate of Labor party, Manoj Kumar, said in a bid to showcase diversity to the wider community, a group of 300 leaders from Labor party and Trade unions had initiated to celebrate Diwali this year here as an annual event.
Several iconic buildings across the country have been lit up to mark the celebrations including the iconic Sydney Opera House which turned golden between 8 pm (local time) to midnight on October 21 this year.
A traditional ceremony was held at the venue attended by NSW premier Mike Baird. The Hindu Council of Australia had also organised Diwali festival at Parramatta Park on Sunday featuring several performances, fireworks on the weekend.
Other parts where Diwali festivals were being organised were Perth, Brisbane and Canberra.