Celebrate India Inc’s annual Diwali program kicks off with the announcement of its essay contest for school kids and song competition
Primary students across Victoria, it’s time to put your creative hats on.
Celebrate India Inc is inviting all Year 5 and 6 students to participate in the Indian Essay Competition an annual competition designed for young people to explore and share their experience of Australian and Indian cultures.
This year’s theme aims to motivate higher level of creative engagement amongst students while at the same time fostering the ability to function harmoniously and productively in a multicultural society. Children are invited to use their imaginations, expand their vocabularies and define multiculturalism by providing examples of what makes India and Australia truly multicultural nations.
The competition is free and open to all Victorian primary students. Encouraging the exploration of multiculturalism from a young person’s perspective is a step towards Celebrate India’s Inc’s mission to celebrate multiculturalism, denounce racism, promote social harmony and mutual respect.
According to Celebrate India’s Chairperson Arun Sharma, “The key to the future lies in helping the next generation to respect and embrace diversity rather than fear and reject differences. By educating and engaging them when they are young we can influence the future, and make it more positive and inclusive,” said Arun.
This is the third annual Indian Essay Competition held in conjunction with Diwali at Federation Square and according to Arun it has gained strength with each year.
“We started with around 580 entries in 2014. Last year we had over 800 responses and this year we are hoping to cross 1000,” he said.
Last year‘s winning entry was from Sahana Rudresh from Rangebank Primary School while the maximum number of submissions (169) were received from Aspendale Gardens Primary School.
This year Celebrate India will involve three independent assessors to select the best entries after the teachers from participating schools have shortlisted the top three and submitted them for final assessment. The evaluation will be based on structure, point of arguments, spelling and creative expression.
A free return ticket by Air India Dreamliner to New Delhi, with a guardian, will be the first prize while the 2nd and 3rd prizes will be sponsored by Gaura Travel. The school with the most entries in the competition will win a 6-week AFL-Leadership Program which includes a visit by an AFL player.
Celebrate India Inc is asking parents, teachers, friends and families to share this wonderful opportunity with students by encouraging them to get involved. Get them to put their thinking caps on and start dreaming of winning that trip to the magical land of vibrant culture, colourful chaos and rich diversity that is India.
The competition submissions need to be in by 19 August to the schools and the shortlisted submissions to Celebrate India by 31 August. Presentations to the winners will be scheduled as part of the Diwali Celebrations in Federation Square on 22 October 2016.
In the past decade, a record number of people have attended Celebrate India’s Diwali celebrations at the iconic Federation Square.
“Reports confirm that over 56,000 people attended over 2 days last year,” said Arun. “Other Diwali items also offered exposure at Flinders St Station, Melbourne Airport, including the screening of fi lm shows and Diwali special carriages that ran for 2 days at Fed Square. This festival has no par in Australia for its reach and it is one of the biggest cultural program supported by culinary and craft stalls.”
The Celebrate India committee, made up of volunteers, is gearing up for another massive celebration between 17-22 October. There are many plans afoot from singing and dancing for Diwali competitions to the possibility of an exhibition to showcase traditional Indian outfits. Festival staples like food stalls, Bazaar, lights and fi reworks will continue to entertain, and heightened security measures will be in place to ensure safety.
The Sing and Dance for Diwali Competitions will be open to participants across Australia. The top two finalists in each category will be invited to Federation Square to compete for the top spot in front of a panel of judges and audience. The dance competition will be open to all styles and genres thus widening the scope and diversity of participation.
The overarching theme of this year’s Festival will provide glimpses of how Diwali is celebrated in different states of India. With its promise of entertainment, competitions, exhibitions and confluence of colours, the Festival of Lights at Federation Square will be worth marking on the events calendar.