Wednesday, October 20, 2021

A life devoted to the arts

Nawal Moudgil’s arts institute is set to mark its 25th anniversary this year

Reading Time: 3 minutesCreating a cultural mosaic to champion an ideal of multiculturalism, Melbourne artist Nawal Kishore Moudgil has much to celebrate this year.
His School of Indian Music and Dance Australia (SIMDA) will mark its 25th year in 2019 and continue to add flavour to the vibrant city of Melbourne.
As one of the first few institutions to offer music, tabla, harmonium and voice training tuitions in this city, SIMDA has changed over the years but is still going strong, according to its founder Nawal Moudgil.

“We started in 1994 when learning to play Indian musical instruments like tabla, harmonium etc. was in demand,” Moudgil explained. “With the advent of new technology like MP3 the musical scene has changed and we have adapted accordingly. I now also impart online training and our learning session demand averages at 10 weeks.”
He continued, “Whether it’s work or volunteering, teaching Indian music in Australia has been an incredibly rewarding experience of cultural exchange that has inspired me to continue. Music is a universal language with the power to cross nationalities, languages, and age.”
Knowing and preserving the various cultural values that exist, he observed, serves to bring about an understanding and tolerance between people and countries. Much awarded for his work in creative and performing arts industry, Moudgil received the Sir John Monash Volunteer of the Year award last year.
He has also been awarded the Victorian Multicultural Excellence Award in 2017 and 2016, Sir John Monash Community Award in 2016 and Serendib SriLankan Spirit Award in 2016.

Moudgil recently finished directing a full day Sawan Multicultural Spring Festival under the banner of Sangam Kala Group Inc. (SKGA) in association with the Victorian Multicultural Commission, City of Monash and other multicultural groups.
The festival encouraged participation from people of all ages, background and artistic abilities to showcase their talent and culture through creative and performing arts. Besides the musical and dance performances, workshops were run to host discussions in yoga, arts and meditation, as well as cross-cultural issues.
Artists from many cultures participated, including those from Indian, Greek, English, Nepalese, Spanish, Fiji, French, Hungarian and ASEAN communities. Bangladeshi TV Broadcaster, Irfat Begum hosted the event by skilfully navigating through the large number of performances.
“Over the years we have collaborated with people from over 44 different ethnic backgrounds, embracing the diversity that makes Melbourne such a dynamic society,” said Moudgil.
Adding another layer to the wealth of multicultural arts on display, he also directed the week-long Satrangi Seven Colours Arts & Film Festival (SSCAFF) held in June last year.
The objective of the festival was to promote cultural diversity, community harmony and intercultural awareness. “This festival also aimed at strengthening music, film and cultural ties of the Victorian/Australian industries with India and globally by recognising the local talent and productions through a shared community platform,” he claimed.
The SSCAFF festival recognised local leaders who served the Australian multicultural community by promoting their cultural heritage. They were awarded the Yash Chopra SSCAFF award as a tribute to SKG’s patron Indian film legend, late Yash Raj Chopra.
As he gears up to direct the 2019 Spirit of Harmony Multicultural Festival (SHMF) on Sunday, 17th March, Moudgil shared his plans with enthusiasm. He revealed that SKGA Inc in association with Victorian Multicultural Commission, the City of Monash and State Govt of Victoria will hold the Festival of Mind Colours to mark the Indian festival of Holi.
“At the 2019 SHMF, we will present entertainment, culinary delights and many stalls. We will also pay tribute to the memory of Padamshree Late Shri Purushottam Das Jalota (1925-2011). The program will feature spiritual talks, workshops, meditation sessions, and seminars on yoga and well-being,” said Moudgil.
The Harmony Day will celebrate the cohesive and inclusive nature of our city and is open to all. “With all these festivals my main aim is to provide opportunities for Australians of all backgrounds to come together and experience different cultural traditions, particularly the Indian culture that I am so proud of,” said Moudgil.
Simmi Singh

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


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 death...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Supriya Pathak in 'Tabbar'. Source: IANS

REVIEW: Tabbar (SonyLIV)

  Set in the heart of rural Punjab, 'Tabbar', family means everything for retired police constable Omkar (Pavan Malhotra), who, with the conniving mind of...
Susmita Dutta (left) and Shruti Haldea (right). Source: IANS

Apple showcases Indian-origin women techies’ power on world stage

  It was Indian-origin women techies' turn to take the centre-stage as Apple unveiled its next line-up of products, including an all-powerful MacBook Pro with...
facebook pays fine for discriminating in favour foreigners against US citizens

Facebook faces $4.79mn fine for favouring foreigners over US citizens

  In a case that turns on its head the common perception of foreigners suffering bias in the US, Facebook is to pay a fine...
Sanak film review

REVIEW: Sanak (Disney+ Hotstar)

  'Sanak' is an immensely slick, if also old-fashioned and formulaic, entertainer. Vidyut Jammwal fans and action buffs will lap up this taut thriller, which...
Shafali Verma

WATCH: Shafali Verma on joining the Sydney Sixers (WBBL)

  Indian teen cricketing sensation Shafali Verma spoke to media today about her burgeoning career and her dreams of a Weber WBBL|07 title with the...