While Diwali fairs are the highlight of the cultural calendar of the diaspora, the Sri Durga Temple at Rockbank has made Dussehra an equally festive occasion.
Like each year, the Dussehra celebration of the temple was a much awaited event and got a massive response from not only the strong concentration of Indian-Australians living in West Melbourne, but from throughout the city. By some estimates, the footfall throughout 1 October, when the event was held, was close to 15,000. Indian Link was a partner of the event.
While there was significant religious undertone, the event itself was more of a fair with a lot of emphasis of family fun, with alcohol out of bounds. There were plenty of activities for children and family sports to keep everyone occupied.
Stage performances included traditional dances such as giddha and dandia, and of course the evergreen crowd-pleaser, bhangra. Of course, there were religious songs and bhajans as well.
There was a variety of stalls including those of various banks, migration agencies, real estate developers and even set top boxes for Indian channels. The winner of lucky draw at the Indian Link stall won a voucher for a 2 nights, 3 days accommodation at Gold Coast.
Those peckish from all the activity headed to the food stalls to tuck into some delicious samosa, chaat, tikki, jalebi and more.
As the daylight faded, the fixture of Dussehra celebrations in North India, the Ram Leela and burning of the effigy of the demon king Ravana, took place to much cheering from the gathered crowd.
As fireworks filled the night sky with countless colours, it was the perfect finish to a day well spent.