A celebration of diversity

Sawan Multicultural Spring Festival showcases multiculturalism through arts, food and talks

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With a full calendar of events, food, entertainment and community engagement, the Sawan Multicultural Spring Festival 2017 finished last year on a vibrant note. SKGA Inc & SIMDA Cultural Group organised the season-long festival within the City of Melbourne, Monash and other local councils.

The organisers said that the festival attracted an estimated 20,000 people who enjoyed the diverse range of activities on offer.

According to Nawal Moudgil, who helmed the project, “The festival was inspired by Victorian Government’s initiative of spreading the significance of multiculturalism through creative and performing arts, as well as promoting the social, cultural and economic benefits of diversity.”

The performers and participants hailed from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds including India, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Columbia, China, Fiji, Bangladesh, Macedonia, Greece, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Sudan, France, and Mauritius. People sampled sumptuous seasonal delights at the array of food stalls that sold multi-ethnic cuisine.

A myriad variety of entertainment was on offer, thanks to the line-up of multicultural dancers, musicians and artists. Talks and workshops were conducted for community engagement and innovations as well as social cohesion. The topics were as varied as teen transformation, business coaching & wealth management, taxation and accounting.

Other topics of interest were Yoga – meditation and mental health, diversity in business and finance, real estate and home loans, 21st century education and education – migration and immigration consulting.

Some other subjects were Bharatanatyam: an immersion of body and mind, preserver of linguistic diversity – the Sanskrit and Hindi language and literature in Australia.

During the festival, SKGA Inc & SIMDA Cultural Group led by Moudgil along with ASEAN Association and Albert Lim, showcased the vibrancy of Indian Diwali celebrations and the ASEAN 50th Year Silver Jubilee.

The event was held at the iconic Queen Victoria Market of Melbourne. The festival received support and sponsorship from a number of community groups, businesses, and local government representatives, Victorian multicultural commission (VMC) and media organisations.

The holiday mood, sunshine filled days and accessibility made for full festival immersion as festival-goers made the most of the free events. The aim of the festival was to engage the community in promoting cultural diversity, community harmony and intercultural awareness.

Riding on the success of last year’s events, a Spirit & Harmony Multicultural Festival 2018 will be held by SKGA Inc and SIMDA Cultural Group from 5 January till 4 March. For more info one can visit www.skga.org.au.