Festival sheds light upon city
Hundreds of people celebrate ninth annual Diwali event
MORE than 400 hundred people crowded into d’Arcy Doyle Place last Sunday evening to dine under the stars and celebrate the ninth annual Diwali Festival.
Diwali got under way as the sun dropped behind St Paul’s Anglican Church perched on the hill overlooking d’Arcy Doyle Place and the cool evening breeze blew in.
Diwali is the festival of light and is the most significant festival in India and is celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern hemisphere.
One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance”.
It is a festival of special significance in India.
As day turned into night, d’Arcy Doyle Place became a colourful festive scene, with lights dressing up the trees surrounding the grassed area. Helium balloons tethered to the temporary fence added colour
‘‘ DIWALI IS THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AND IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FESTIVAL IN INDIA AND IS CELEBRATED EVERY AUTUMN IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE AND SPRING IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE.
and spectacle with adornments of small fairy lights.
Some patrons dressed for the occasion and wore colourful saris and traditional Indian wear. Others wore more informal clothes more suitable to Australian summers. But whatever the clothes, patrons were happy to be there to celebrate Diwali.
Henna painting was a very popular activity during the evening. The artists doing the henna painting were kept very busy all evening with patrons queuing to have a henna tattoo painted on their hand.
Another popular activity at Diwali is the Bollywood dancing and can these people dance. It is quiet exhausting watching them perform.
Their dress is colourful, the dance very energetic and the vision exhilarating. And the crowd can’t wait to join in during the Bollywood dancing workshop; it is a magnificent spectacle.
Raj Sharma and his family and staff of the Indian Mehfil restaurant have been organising this festival for nine years, bringing together different cultures in celebration of what each has to offer.
According to Mr Sharma, Diwali is about belonging in the community.
He said he and his family have made Ipswich home. His children go to school in Ipswich, his business is in Ipswich and he supports the community where he can. This is why he has organised Diwali to allow the Ipswich community to share in a culture, to share in different food and to share in bringing light into the community.
Australians, except our first nation’s people, have all come from different countries dating back generations.
They have brought with them their cultures and wonderful food that is shared in many different forms.
And, as Mr Sharma says, regardless of where you have come from, or how far back your ancestors came to this country, you have contributed to this mix of “Australianism”, along with the culture and food from our Indigenous population.
The Ipswich Community can look forward to the10th Diwali Festival at about the same time in 2019.
To Mr Sharma and his family at Indian Mehfil Restaurant, congratulations on another successful Diwali Festival.
CELBBRATION: Diwali Festiva symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.