‘I am because We are’ is a strong message for all generations, and the Sangam Kala Group Australia (SKGA Inc.) celebrates this theme through their annual events by bringing diverse multicultural communities under one entertaining platform. Their 2019 Sawan Multicultural
Spring Festival (SMSF) was held at the Clayton Community Centre to wrap up an eventful year and bring in good tidings for the new one.
“We organise SMSF every year to continue our efforts of promoting cultural diversity, community harmony and intercultural awareness by supporting State Government of
Victoria’s initiative of spreading the power of significance of multiculturalism through Creative Arts and Performing Art,” said Festival Director Nawal Moudgil. This was the
5th year for this popular springtime festivity attracting hundreds of performers from Indian, Indigenous, Nepalese, Greek, Spanish and Russian communities in Australia.
At the SMSF people could dance, sing, socialise, enjoy an upbeat lesson or listen to uplifting music. Sessions in Hindi, Sanskrit, yoga, arts and meditation for spiritual and mental health-wellbeing were on offer, along with food stalls, henna and commercial stalls. An array of choreographed performances was presented indoors and outdoors. Long established local dance companies and exciting multicultural groups showcased their talent in multidisciplinary arts.
Appreciating the talent of all the children who performed MP Matt Fregon said, “Our future is bright in the hands of such talented kids. In order to continue to grow, our children need a solid ground, and traditions, particularly our performing arts, are part of that solid foundation for our children”. The Minister thanked the organisers for inviting him and encouraged the participants to continue their artistic pursuits.“It’s a pleasure to work with such highly motivated, disciplined and creative people,” gushed Nawal, explaining his own motivation behind holding the festival. “From traditional to contemporary we embrace every genre and celebrate the spirit of multi ethnic communities. They have never failed to inspire and excite our audience.” “Though worlds apart, there are many similarities in styles and concepts and we celebrate all those unifying qualities,” he continued. Nawal heads SKGA an independent, incorporated not-for-profit association formed in 2002. The aim and objective of SKGA Inc. is to preserve and promote Indian and diverse music, dance, film, languages, drama and related performing and creative arts, cultural activities including spiritual, multicultural and Bollywood entertainment to people of all origins in multicultural Australia.
The Festival’s target audience mostly responded in a favourable manner. Drawing on the local communities’ attention to multiculturalism the festival built a positive image attracting sponsorships and stalls from Victorian Multicultural Commission, Victorian State Government, City of Monash, SIMDA Cultural Group, Clayton Clarinda Leadership Group, City of Kingston, Monash Youth and Family Services.
In his speech chief guest MP Meng Heang Tak endorsed SKGA’s message of cross-cultural awareness as well as fostering intercultural relationships, community contribution and mutual respect. MCs and moderators Anu Sood, Maria Sarmas Papoulias and Navika Moudgil kept the busy schedule rolling smoothly. From 10 am to 6 pm there was something to see and do for all age making it an exhausting yet fun-filled day.