Wednesday, January 27, 2021

A touch of home in the Australian spring

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Basant (Spring) Festival organised by So Change Inc. a great success

Basant Festival.Indian Link
A Basant festival on the sub-continent would be all about kite flying, gaana-bajaana, khaana-peena, and general matargashti.
Well, all of these were to be found at Perth’s own Basant Festival held in mid-October. The magnificent grounds of Curtin University Stadium might as well have been a maidan in India!
As a secular festival, there are no religious overtones to this celebration, and the event is marked in India as well as Pakistan as a heralding of the spring season. As we wish winter goodbye, it’s time to get out and enjoy the outdoors in the pleasant breeze. Kite flying, anyone?
Basant Festival.Indian Link
The trademark kites of the season rose up in the Perth skies at regular intervals, as if keeping watch on the goings-on below. Some of course, seduced by the pleasant breeze, wanted to escape and fly free, even as their keepers toiled to keep them anchored. And some of them, buoying confidently up there, urged their keepers to invite others for a kite-fight or two.
Oh, the childhood memories that came back…!
Basant Festival.Indian Link
Meanwhile, down below, the mood was just as light and filled with fun. More than 100 stalls glazed in the sun, enticing people with wares of all kind. At least 40 of them were food-based.
Every age group had their own activities to relate to. Shop-happy ladies picked up bargains including Punjabi and Pakistani suits, kurtis, dazzling Punjabi juttis and vibrant jewellery. Those with kids first took in the rides and inflatable games – no doubt as a clever ploy to exhaust them completely so they could hit the shopping themselves as the little ones settled in to eat. Older kids preferred the drill-a-nail-into-wood and hand-in-wax activities.
On stage, the naach gaana began in earnest as the multicultural dance fiesta took off, guided by the beautiful Sonu as MC. A number of admirable performances by groups and solo rockers kept keen audiences bound to the stage.
Basant Festival.Indian Link
Crooners Nukul Tewari, Surjoprovo Mazhar and Shaouli Shahid took to the microphone with confidence and impressed. Taibees, Sinam Aizad and Expedition band were equally amazing.
Within the dance segment, the stand-outs were Greek style dance by Tabetha, Indonesian dance by Salendong-Astit Olszowy, and vigourous Chinese lion dance by Kenn Wu and group. Turkish dance by Tabetha, Jungle gym dance by Gillian, Mauritian and African dances thrilled as well.
Sunita Gupta and the Jhoom group who performed Bhangra managed to rope in the dignitaries to shake a leg or two: Mike Nahan (Member for Riverton), Margaret Quirk (Member for Girrawheen), Senator Rachel Stewart and Peter Abetz (Member for Southen River) found their political divides all but washed out by the dhol! Their addresses and notes of welcome to the gathered multicultural crowd were much appreciated.
Towards the end, the lucky draw was called to pick a winner who took home an LCD TV.
Basant Festival.Indian Link
Visitors Harsharan and Deepu Panesar told Indian Link they relished the yummy Pakistani kababs and the Kutchi dabelis, and later enjoyed the kite flying with their kids.
Jean and Nagina took a break from work at their biomedical lab to try out the multi cuisine stalls.
Harneet Arora and Navroop said they found useful the Tupperware products and homemade delicacies.
The mammoth event was organised by Perth-based outfit So Change Inc. (SCI), which aims to empower migrant and refugee communities as they settle into their new home Australia.
President Mohammed Suleman and Project Manager Omair Choudhary must surely feel thrilled at the interest they successfully generated with their Basant Festival.
View more photos on our Facebook page HERE

- Advertisement -
Previous articleThe last of the Fab 5
Next articleSweet Diwali treats!

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

  It’s been two years since the world’s largest democracy repealed the draconian Section 377 which used to allow discrimination against homosexual people. Only this...

Latest News

wagah border ceremony

WATCH: Attari-Wagah Border Ceremony on India’s 72nd Republic Day

  It's always a sight to behold - watching the daily military practice between Indian and Pakistani forces at the Attari-Wagah border, made special on...
President Joe Biden

Huge relief for spouses of H1B workers in the US

  "Withdrawn". A single word on a thick bureaucratic file on the seventh day of the Biden administration delivered a huge win for spouses of...
kamala's way biography by dan moraine

Book Review: ‘Kamala’s Way’ by Dan Morain

  Just how did the daughter of two immigrants in segregated California became one of this countrys most effective power players? Through the human touch,...
farmers protest, delhi, red fort, flags

Farmers rage in Delhi on Republic Day

  On the morning of Republic Day, farmers were warmly welcomed in Delhi. As pictured below, tractors and cars carrying groups of protesters were showered...
Jeet Ki Zid movie poster

Review: Jeet Ki Zid (Zee5)

  It's easy to like Jeet Ki Zid. The show talks of patriotism and valour, it celebrates will power to triumph against all odds. Importantly,...