By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE: The Festival of Lights known as Diwali or Deepavali is an important festival celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, purity over impurity, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.
During the festival, those celebrating illuminate their homes, temples, and workspaces with candles and lanterns and share meals with families and friends. The festival also serves as an opportunity for communities to come together to celebrate.
Wyndham Diwali has played a central role in bringing communities together to celebrate and share this important festival with the broader community for 8 years.
Despite the challenges of Covid-19, the Wyndham Diwali virtual online Festival in 2020 held recently provided an opportunity for the spirit and meaning of Diwali and Indian culture to be shared with all Victorians, and for other cultures to participate in Diwali celebrations.
Over 45 performances Indian, and from other cultures, were live-streamed on Facebook, MeTV, and YouTube, along with Diwali messages from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Premier Daniel Andrews, Leader of the Opposition Michael O’Brien and other State and Federal Ministers and Members of Parliament.
Diwali messages were also live-streamed from Ms. Viv Nguyen, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Mr. Eddie Micallef, Chairperson of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, and numerous cross-cultural leaders.
“The Wyndham Diwali 2020 Festival was true to our organization’s vision which is Many Cultures – One Nation’’ Mr. Srinivas Shesham, Chairperson of Wyndham Diwali Inc, said, “It serves as a platform for celebrational and learning about other cultures, which in turn builds cultural tolerance and community cohesion.’’
On the day, thousands of Victorians and international participants came together in the spirit of Diwali to spread positive cheer, mark the start of new beginnings, and enjoy the vast array of enthusiastic performances ranging from those taking their first steps in the performing arts to professional performers.
“It is fantastic to see the Wyndham Diwali 2020 Virtual Festival performances continue to be viewed online weeks after the official festival live stream event’’ Mr. Shesham, said, “I hope the performances that were part of the festival in 2020 continue to bring joy and cheer to the community into the future, particularly those who continue to be socially isolated. This year Wyndham Diwali launched a home decoration contest proudly supported by TAAI.”
This year’s festival would not have been possible without the continued support of the State Government, the Mental Health Foundation, Telugu Association of Australia Inc (TAAI), National Indian Community peak bodies like CIAA, FIAV, FIMO and FIMDV, Wyndham Council, and Councillor Heather Marcus, and newly elected Councillor Sahana Ramesh, in particular.
“Most of all on behalf of the Executive Committee of Wyndham Diwali Inc, I would like to thank our performers and all those who participated in our 2020 Festival,” Mr. Shesham said, “Building on the sound foundations of prior festivals, with your continued support, we hope to bring a bigger and better Wyndham Diwali in the new year.”