Light­ing the way


Guardian Express - - FRONT PAGE - Caitlin Tiller

WA’S ver­sion of the big­gest fes­ti­val in In­dia will re­turn to Supreme Court Gar­dens from Novem­ber 6 to 8.

Jointly hosted by the Tem­ple of Fine Arts and not-for-profit restau­rant An­nalak­shmi, the Swan Fes­ti­val of Lights will cel­e­brate the an­cient fes­ti­val Deep­avali – the tri­umph of light over dark­ness.

An­nalak­shmi man­ager Arun Ku­mar Nataraja said the three­day event was In­dia’s an­swer to Christ­mas.

“We do it slightly dif­fer­ent in this part of the world,” Mr Nataraja said.

“In­stead of mak­ing it an In­dian cel­e­bra­tion, we cel­e­brate all cul­tures just like mul­ti­cul­tural Aus­tralia.”

Mr Nataraja, who has man­aged An­nalak­shmi for 15 years, said more than one bil­lion peo­ple cel­e­brated the fes­ti­val world­wide.

Tem­ple of Fine Arts artis­tic di­rec­tor Sarasa Kr­ish­nan said she had been in­volved with the fes­ti­val since its in­cep­tion in 2008.

“Grow­ing up in In­dia and Malaysia, this very im­por­tant fes­ti­val her­alds fond mem­o­ries of the en­tire fam­ily and city in prepa­ra­tion of sweets, fes­tiv­i­ties and cel­e­bra­tions with fam­ily and friends,” Ms Kr­ish­nan said.

“While some of the gen­eral com­mu­nity will be recit­ing an- cient San­skrit verses to ra­di­ate peace and har­mony in the world, an artist will be cre­at­ing a live paint­ing be­fore the au­di­ence, pick­ing up the mean­ing and rhythms of the chant­ing.”

Ms Kr­ish­nan, who teaches tra­di­tional In­dian dance and chore-

og­ra­phy, said In­dian dance stemmed from a spir­i­tual source.

“Through the many mul­ti­cul­tural per­for­mances and our tra­di­tional In­dian dance pre­sen­ta­tions, it will cul­mi­nate in the story of Deep­avali, from our pro­duc­tion of Ra­mayana,” she said.

The fam­ily-friendly fes­ti­val in­cor­po­rates cul­ture with dance, art, mu­sic and food through per­for­mances, work­shops and demon­stra­tions.

“Al­though Aus­tralian and In­dian cul­tures are ge­o­graph­i­cally sep­a­rated by the In­dian Ocean, this di­vide is cer­tainly bridged though the mul­ti­cul­tural ex­change that has be­come The Deep­avali cel­e­bra­tion in Perth,” Ms Kr­ish­nan said.

“It is a time when the com­mu­nity truly res­onates as one to cel­e­brate the light in each of us.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d445084

Chan­drika Ravi, Vas­an­tha Ra­jen­dran, Sarasa Kr­ish­nan and Mayuri Rathakr­ish­nan pre­pare for the Swan Fes­ti­val of Lights.

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