Melbourne, Oct 19: The intermittent rains notwithstanding, thousands of Melburnians showed up at Federation Square on Saturday to show their love for Diwali, the festival of lights hosted by Celebrate India. From dancing to music to food stalls to the fireworks, Fed Square was transformed into a cultural hotspot. Celebrate India founder Arun Sharma hopes the festival of lights will continue up to Christmas in celebration of multiculturalism and acknowledgement of all the religions and festivals that shape Australia’s social fabric.
Leading up to Diwali, the organisation conducted two successful competitions – the Unique Talent Quest and Dance for Diwali contests with focus on the younger generation to carry on the culture. These talents showcased their skills on stage as they went on receive generous prizes.
This year, Light for Diwali, another unique project, was led by co-founder Jaya Sharma, in which volunteers participated in huge numbers. Under the project, concrete blocks around Federation Square and around the city were decorated with traditional Indian folk art. It was met with applause and praises from many.
For the first time, AFL House was also lit up.
With its charity partner Beyond Blue this year, Celebrate India entered its 14th year. It has managed to spread the message of love and peace and made Diwali an iconic, cross-cultural event in Melbourne.
(By G’day Staff)