Reading Time: 3 minutes
Dussehra is celebrated with a family festival at Sri Durga Temple in Rockbank
Dussehra is one of the biggest Hindu festivals and comes on the 10th day of Shukla paksh of the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin. Celebrations of 9 nights, Navratra – where people worship Goddess Durga – precede Dussehra.
Dusshera celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over the king of Lanka Ravana as depicted in the ancient Hindu scriptures.
In late October, Durga Temple, Rockbank hosted a fun filled event to celebrate the cultural heritage and sports of the Indian subcontinent.
The program began with the Kabbadi finals in the morning followed by cultural activities. The atmosphere was electric and you almost felt transported to one of the melas held in India throughout the year.
Various artists performed hit Bollywood numbers like Dum mast hai from Band Baja Baraat and from vintage classics like Ek Radha ek Meera. Kuldip Beri entertained the crowd with popular Punjabi numbers Bol Mittti da and Jugni from Tanu weds Manu and Vinayak enthralled the crowd with Challah.
Emcees Raju and Lokesh left the crowd in splits with Punjabi one-liners and jokes. Gidda and Bhangra performances brought us back to the gullies of Punjab. Ram Leela’ by Puri and team brought to life Ramayana the life and teachings of Lord Rama. Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott presented the winner of the lucky draw – Rohit Gupta. He won a return ticket to India sponsored by Jet Airways and Indian Link.
This event also saw large number of people shopping for Indian jewellery and clothes for the upcoming festivals of Karwachauth and Diwali.
Children enjoyed their gelatos, games and rides while the elders enjoyed a variety of snacks and savories like tikki chol, kulche, samosa, and sweets like jalebi, barfi, with hot masala chai and cold mango lasssi. It looked like mini India had descended on the Aussie land!
Minister Robin Scott was joined at the event by Brendan O’Connor MP, Sophie Ramsey, Mayor of Melton, and Cr Bob Turner. The dignitaries gave away trophies to the volunteers who had made immense contributions to the community and helped to make this event a grand success.
Sunil Bhalla, head of the technical committee for the Durga Temple, explained how the temple has been organising various events in the past to engage the Indian community and strengthen the Aussie-Indian ties with activities like meditation, free yoga camps, rituals and prayers on various occasions.
The temple has also been involved with the free food initiatives of the ASRC food bank. They have been donating food to disadvantaged and homeless children and have been helping the asylum seekers by collaborating with ‘Lets Feed.
The Government of Victoria has recognised the Temple’s contributions and effort and the community is looking forward to developing a play area for children, a library and a bigger kitchen.
The new, bigger temple at the Rockbank campus will be inaugurated on 30 November, 2015