fbpx
Saturday, January 23, 2021

When the Opera House brought out its Diwali sari

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It was a grand start to the Diwali season for Sydney’s Indian community. As the Sydney Opera House lit up in the golden hues of Diwali well ahead of the date, it was a “Chhoti Diwali” (pre-Diwali event) like no other. Indeed it could be said, it was a grand start to Diwali across the globe. 

Opera house lit up for Diwali celebrations
Opera house lit up for Diwali celebrations

The Sydney Opera House likes to frock up for special occasions, picking distinct colours as it shows solidarity with various communities and causes. For this event, it brought out its orange and gold Diwali sari.

- Advertisement -

Standing on the threshold of the city, it shone its light bright and beautiful, as if to welcome Goddess Lakshmi in. Goodness and good fortune for the city of Sydney, clarity of thought, and the removal of negativity. Om maha lakshmyai namah.

For the Indian community gathered to watch this Diwali announcement just as the sun goes down, it is always a soul-stirring sight – not just for its Diwali connotations but also as a gesture of acceptance by our adopted homeland.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian pressed the switch on from across the harbour on the terrace of the Museum of Contemporary Art, at a special event hosted by Multicultural NSW.

“We are incredibly proud of our Indian community for your contributions to the state of NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said as she stood surrounded by her ministers. “We support you as you preserve your traditions and pass them on your next generations.”

Manish Gupta, Consul General of India (Sydney) replied to the Premier, “Events such as this show the importance you attach to connecting with the communities that make up your society. Sydney is a wonderful nurturing ground for diversity.”

Manish Gupta, Consul General of India (Sydney)
Manish Gupta, Consul General of India (Sydney)

Ms Berejiklian, Mr Gupta and others received special blessings from Pandit Jatin Bhatt of Auburn’s SriMandir temple.

Invited guests also got to hear Shabad (Sikh prayers) sung by priests from the Sikh community, who also observe the Diwali tradition. 

 Shabad (Sikh prayers) sung by priests from the Sikh community
Shabad (Sikh prayers) sung by priests from the Sikh community

Earlier, an Annakut display designed by the BAPS Swaminarayan community had greeted visitors to the venue. An elaborate arrangement of food items, Annakut is a ritual of gratitude performed during Diwali to offer thanks for the comforts in our lives.

  Annakut display designed by the BAPS Swaminarayan community
Annakut display designed by the BAPS Swaminarayan community

It has been a regular occurrence at this event.

Missing this time, however, was another regular ceremony, the annual felicitating of community seniors. Instead we had the felicitation of two other communities as they prepared for their own special events: the BAPS Swaminarayan movement as they marked the 200th anniversary of their scripture the Vachanamrit, and the Sikh community as they prepare for the upcoming 550th birth anniversary of their spiritual leader Guru Nanak Dev.

Our favourite city monument has been celebrating Diwali since 2014 just ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s memorable visit.

It is but one of many world monuments that have begun to be illuminated for Diwali. The Empire State Building, the Burj Khalifa and the Eiffel Tower have all worn Diwali colours. Closer home to us in New Zealand, this year for the first time, Auckland Museum, the Sky Tower and Viaduct Harbour also joined in to wish the world a Happy Diwali.  

- Advertisement -
Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni is the Editor of Indian Link.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Podcasts

Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

0
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

0
  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

0
  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

lilly singh

WATCH: Lilly Singh as Sima Taparia in “Indian Matchbreaking”

0
  Whether we liked it or not, most of us gave into the Sima Taparia craze during lockdown. Within days, we'd all binged on Netflix's...
karl rock

From New Zealand to New Delhi: Meet YouTube’s Karl Rock

0
  When Karl Rock picks up the phone (with a cheerful ‘Namaste!’ no less), his New Zealand accent is apparent. That is, until he bursts...
Buddhist Kung Fu nuns kicking hard at centuries-old taboos

India’s Buddhist Kung Fu nuns

0
  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

0
  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

0
  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...