Friday, January 22, 2021

Diwali Annakut at Victorian Parliament

Reading Time: 2 minutes

BAPS hosts a bipartisan celebration to showcase Indian culture and tradition

The BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, recently organised a grand Diwali and Annakut celebration at the Parliament of Victoria. This is the third year since this major festival was first hosted in the Parliament. The spectacular Diwali display and celebrations in the iconic building represented genuine bipartisanship in a multicultural space.
Annakut at Victorian Parliament.Indian Link
The Queen’s Hall saw a change of ambience as the festive Annakut (mountain of food) took pride of place near the entrance. Tiers of vegetarian food were arranged in a traditional preparation in front of an altar. The lofty hall wore a festive and colourful look as the deities from the Mandir presided over the auspicious proceedings.
The Queen’s Hall also hosted a three-day exhibition with information that enhanced knowledge of Diwali, the largest Hindu festival, and offered a glimpse of Indian culture and traditions. The exhibition and festivities were held in collaboration with 19 other leading organisations in Victoria.
The festivities began with bhajans or thaals being sung to offer delicacies to the deities of Shiv Parvati, Radha-Krishna, Sita-Rama Bhagwan Swaminarayan and other Gurus. A ceremonial aarti was conducted by all the dignitaries and Mandir priests, accompanied by Vedic chanting. The traditional lamp was lit by BAPS esteemed guest Bhagat Prakash Ji Maharaj from India.
Annakut at Victorian Parliament.Indian Link
Sitesh Bhojani, the master of ceremonies, introduced the program, and Geeta Devi from the Hindu temple welcomed the guests. Youngsters were encouraged to share their perspective of Diwali and Hinduism and several vibrant cultural items were presented. It was surreal to hear Sanskrit shlokas, sung by young children, reverberate in the halls of the Parliament.
In his address, Telmo Languiller, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, said that this was a dream come true for multiculturalism in Victoria. One of the greatest strengths of Victoria is their diverse and harmonious multicultural community and celebrating cultural diversity is a big part of the Australian way of life. He acknowledged Opposition Leader Matthew Guy’s contribution in making the initial commitment to hold the festival in the Parliament.
Annakut at Victorian Parliament.Indian Link
All the other speakers wished everyone a Happy Diwali and asked people to take time to look for the joys in life and embrace the values of family and traditions.
Makarand Bhagwat, representing Hindu Council of Australia, provided a brief vote of thanks. He urged everyone to reflect on the spiritual meaning of Diwali of discarding darkness and negativity and bringing forth light and positivity. Towards the end, Prasada (religious offering) was distributed to everyone.

- Advertisement -
Preeti Jabbal
Preeti Jabbal
Preeti is the Melbourne Coordinator of Indian Link.

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

Buddhist Kung Fu nuns kicking hard at centuries-old taboos

India’s Buddhist Kung Fu nuns

  They are the Buddhist Kung Fu nuns of Drukpa lineage, known globally for trekking across the Himalayas to pick up trash, paddling through mountain...
jhansi strawberries

Strawberries to write a new chapter of development in Jhansi

  Jhansi which is well-known as the land of valour is all set to write a new chapter and strawberry cultivation would play a pivotal...

WATCH: Aussies try to guess Indian slang

  Many new migrants have had to quickly learn the local lingo upon arriving in Australia, picking up the ie's and the o's as part...

Khalsa Aid nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

  Khalsa Aid, a non-for-profit based in the United Kingdom has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for its humanitarian efforts. Canadian MP Tim Uppal,...
ravi shastri in gabba dressing room

WATCH: Coach Ravi Shastri’s speech to Team India after Gabba Test

  Indians cricket fans around the world couldn't contain their excitement when Rishabh Pant's final boundary cemented India's historic win at the Gabba. No doubt...