Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Ramayana at Diwali…

Reading Time: 3 minutes

… and Garba too! It’s the Swan Festival of Lights

Swan Festival of Lights.Indian Link
The annual Swan Festival of Lights to celebrate Deepavali was held at the Supreme Court Gardens in Perth over the weekend of 6-8 November. The event attracted a multitude of people from all walks of life. They were treated to many multicultural dance and music performances, great food, camel rides and free workshops.
Swan Festival of Lights.Indian Link
An abridged contemporary version of the timeless Ramayana was presented in dance drama form by the Temple of Fine Arts. An open air Garba dance (mentioned as Perth’s biggest outdoor Garba) was held in the evening which people enjoyed immensely. Various workshops highlighting Indian art and culture were held during the event. There were fireworks every evening of the event capping off the entertainment.
Sukhi Krishnan, Festival Artistic Director at the Temple of Fine Arts, says, “We decided we would feature one state each year as a ‘host state’. This year we featured Gujarat and invited the Gujarati community to be part of the festival.”
Swan Festival of Lights.Indian Link
The Gujarati theme resonated through the event in the décor, the attire worn by the staff, the parade in traditional attire and the “Garba under the Stars” open air dance.
A new element this year was the idea of showing the interconnectedness of humanity. This idea was represented by the “Tree of Light and Life” in the festival. In Sukhi Krishnan’s words “(When we) light a candle, the light of which represents our individuality, and place it under the Tree of Light and Life, we do so with an understanding that we are all sparks of a humanity that wants peace and understanding. It is this unity of love of light that is celebrated in Deepavali.”
Swan Festival of Lights.Indian Link
A major satisfaction for her was the flow of the program ending with the Ramayana each evening. Despite the challenges of performing the Ramayana outdoors, “without the technical support of an indoor auditorium”, audiences were left enthralled.
Swan Festival of Lights.Indian Link
The only aspect which detracted somewhat from the fun of the evening were the long, snaking queues at the food stalls. There was one queue to buy the “food coupons” and other queues to get the food from the various stalls. Spending up to an hour in these queues meant less time to enjoy the amazing performances. Perhaps the organisers will come up with new ideas next year to manage this better.
Swan Festival of Lights.Indian Link
Sukhi believes the only constraint for the event is funding and manpower, and there is no dearth of innovative ideas for the festival in the years to come.
The Swan Festival of Lights is an annual mega event in Perth bringing Deepavali celebrations to the mainstream with support from City of Perth, Lottery West and many others.

Related Articles

Sister Project, empowering women of diverse backgrounds

Ellenbrook local Tracey Cave had always wanted to do something community-oriented. But it wasn’t until she saw a fellow Mum, who was a migrant...

2020 Snake boat races suspended in Kerala, come alive in Perth

Hundreds of spectators on the lake front erupted with joy as the boats sliced through the waters, the oarsmen throwing their oars in unison...

Unexpected demise of Indian student in Brisbane

Harishivashanker Reddy Nagaram, an Indian postgraduate information technology student has died unexpectedly. The institution he attended, Southern Cross University, has extended its deepest sympathy...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


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

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...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

  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...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

tiger cub

India’s Pilibhit Reserve gets global award for doubling tiger population

  The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) and the Uttar Pradesh Forest department have bagged the first-ever international award, TX2, for doubling the number of tigers...
chitra divakaruni the last queen

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on ‘The Last Queen’ and women empowerment

  Reading about the Kohinoor diamond and how it was taken by the British from Maharaja Dalip Singh and given to Queen Victoria, writer Chitra...
mehul choksi, vijay mallya, lalit modi, nirav modi

India has caught only 2 of 72 fugitive scamsters in 5...

  In a candid admission, the Centre has stated that of the 72 absconding economic offenders, the government has managed to bring in only two...
India Tour of Australia dates

Ind V Aus fixtures: Matches begin this weekend

The upcoming months promise an exciting season for cricket with three series – the Vodafone Test series, Dettol ODI series, and Dettol Twenty20 International...
delhi crime netflix wins international emmy

‘Delhi Crime’ becomes first Indian show to win International Emmy

  Web series Delhi Crime has won the Best Drama Series award at the 48th International Emmy Awards, held virtually this year owing to the...