Thursday, March 4, 2021

Diwali scenes across Sydney: Deepavali Milan

A quick look at the Deepavali Milan celebrations this year.

Reading Time: 2 minutesDeepavali Milan: Ten years
It was exactly ten years ago that Lt Col Virander and Mrs Kamini Sahni began a venture to celebrate Diwali at the neighbourhood level. Today they host hundreds. Their last two celebrations have seen no less than 400 attendees bring in the festival at the large mainstream venue of Hornsby RSL.

The North Shore Diwali do has grown wonderfully, boasting an organising committee of nine this year. Subash, Nitasha, Punam, Sushma, Shirley, Poornima and Shashi volunteered to help the Sahnis. Together, they introduced some delightful new elements, such as decorating the venue to reflect the specially picked colour theme – yellow and green, in a nod to our adopted home.
Yet tradition was maintained, in the Ganesh watching from his position at the top, in the welcome tikka, and in the lighting of the lamp to start off the evening.
And of course, in other instances, there was a welcome moulding of the traditional and the modern. In the singing of the aarti Jai Jagadish Hare the lyrics were displayed on the large screens to enable maximum participation. The invocation dance was a classical ‘jugalbandi’ of two styles of dancing, Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam.
For me personally, it was more a mix of emotions: as I drew the rangoli, I was reminded so very much of my mum, who had been traditionally entrusted with this job for many years.
The speeches were crisp and touched the right chord. Consul General B Vanlalwana spoke of Diwali as an opportunity for Indians to spread the “message of peace, brotherhood and friendship.” Community elder Gurdeep Singh spoke of the journey Deepavali Milan has taken over the years. Julian Leeser, Federal Member for Berowra, spoke of the strong bond that exists between the two communities. He impressed also with his Hindi, and his gracious performance of Indian dancing to Punjabi music.
Several dances and musical recitals spanned the evening. These included classical, Bollywood style as well as fusion numbers, and some wonderful singing by some of our community’s rising stars.
Henna, professional photographs, lucky draws and dance floor shenanigans completed the night.
A quaint touch that went down particularly well last year was reintroduced: ‘first Diwali’ for newborns and for newly married couples. May they see many happy Diwalis going forward.
The 10th Deepavali Milan was not only a social affair, it played an important philanthropic role too. It fund-raised for war widows in India, a cause close to the heart of the Sahnis given their own Services background. In addition, proceeds from the raffle tickets were also nominated for dementia patients attached to AASHA Australia.
See pictures from other celebrations/melas across Sydney
CIA’s Little India Fair
FIAN Diwali mela
Blacktown Diwali mela
AHIA Diwali
South Sydney Diwali bash
Deepavali at Church
HCA Diwali

- Advertisement -
Rani Jhala
Rani is married and lives with her family in Sydney. She prefers to write fiction and has been contributing to Indian Link for over ten years. She is currently working on a trilogy based on three generations of women

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

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...

Latest News

Maju Varghese

Indian-American appointed Director of WH Military Office

  US President Joe Biden has appointed Indian-American Maju Varghese, who was the Chief Operating Officer of his campaign, as his deputy assistant and Director...
sexual assault survivor, sexual assault counsellor, sexual assault victim

I’m a sexual assault counsellor. Here’s why it’s so hard for...

  As a senior sexual assault counsellor working with Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, I often sit across from people on the worst day of...
dee domingo and raj shekhawat

A tinnitus update on World Hearing Day

  World Hearing Day is celebrated on 3 March to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness along with promoting ear care. I spoke to...

Book Review: ‘Ritu weds Chandni’ by Ameya Narvankar

  "But what is wrong with that? Why shouldn't she marry Chandni didi?," asks Ayesha, the young protagonist in Ameya Narvankar's Ritu weds Chandni. The innocent...
axar patel indian cricket player

IND v ENG: A historic Test… for all the wrong reasons

  The only bigger joke than the wicket prepared for the 3rd cricket Test between England and India at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium, was the renaming...