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All the essential elements were present in full measure at the Seniors Lohri Luncheon, writes ANUBHTI MADAN-SINGH
Fun, frolic, colours, music and dance. Your essential Lohri elements, all of these were present in full measure at a recent Lohri celebration.
A rather special one, it brought together the buzurgs of our community, who have fond memories of this festival celebrated in the close-knit communities of yore.
The Seniors Lohri Luncheon was organised by Melbourne Service Club, the first of its kind hosted by this new organisation founded last year. Held at Tandoori Times at Yarraville, the event attracted guests mostly from the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne.
Lohri is a festival celebrated in northern India, mainly Punjab, to mark the harvest of rabi crop. As part of the festivities, a bonfire is lit and songs are sung about Dulla Bhatti (desi Robin Hood).
Sundar mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicharaa ho!
It was music that was definitely the hallmark of this Melbourne Lohri, as the guests ended up singing in unison. MC Ravneet Kaur had a long array of activities to keep the guests entertained – a musical quiz, a game of Tambola, and then karaoke of old Bollywood songs. And hey, what’s a Lohri gathering without some dancing!
The Club’s President Ripan Sethi said about the fledgling organisation, “We launched it as another forum to help bring the Indian community together. In the longer run, we hope to include those form other Asian backgrounds as well. Currently we have a volunteer base of around 40 people which we hope to expand in coming times.”
He continued, “At the moment, the Club is focusing on three main programs: helping homeless youth, Breakfast Club for schools, and addressing issues related to our seniors. Our future plans include arranging technology workshops for seniors, creating a mobile application to connect the youth and seniors with transportation concerns, and helping bridge the gap between resident immigrant parents with the ones here on short-term visits.”
The event was graced by Cr Sarah Carter (River Ward) and Cr Gautam Gupta, Acting Mayor of Wyndham. Ms Carter applauded the great effort undertaken by the Club in organising this event which showcased the best of living in Melbourne. She noted, “We Melbournians love our diversity, we love being so multicultural. And prioritising our seniors and ensuring that they are active and engaged in our society is of high importance too.” Mr Gupta congratulated the Club on successfully organising their second event. “Events like this add flavour to the multicultural aspect of Australia,” he said. “And along with a celebration, the Club has put together a platform to raise awareness about issues that concern the immigrant population, which is commendable.”
We hope to see the Club active on many fronts in the coming months.
As the organisers thanked the volunteers for their efforts, the enthusiasm was evident amongst all for more such events in the future.
Check out the Club at: facebook.com/melbourneserviceclub/