The Opera House’s first Diwali

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In a historic move sure to strengthen bonds between India and New South Wales, the sails of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated recently to celebrate the Hindu festival of light, Deepavali.

From 8pm until midnight on Tuesday 21 October, the Australian icon was awash in colour, featuring a series of images and projections related to the popular Hindi festival.

In spite of the rains, some 300 people gathered to see the historic event, and many found vantage points along the harbour to get the best photographs.

An image snapped by Indian Link’s Sachin Wakhare even made the front page of one of India’s leading English language dailies, Hindustan Times, alongside comments from Indian Link CEO Pawan Luthra.

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello hosted the event alongside Multicultural NSW Chair and prominent member of the Indian community, Dr Hari Harinath. The trio lit a diya, a ceremonial lamp in Hindu culture that signifies the lifting of spiritual darkness and the renewal of life.

The NSW Parliament House in Sydney also lit up simultaneously and remained lit each night until Wednesday 5 November in support of the Deepavali festival, in a tradition that began ten years ago.

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