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Diwali Celebrations in Australia

10/21/2008 05:32:00 PM

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the southern hemisphere. It comprises of the mainland of the world's smallest continent, the major island of Tasmania and numerous other islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Since the last many centuries, many Indians have either visited India as students or settled there permanently as citizens. A majority of the Indian population in the island country are Hindus. And hence the Diwali festival is an important religious and cultural event in the annual calendar of Sydney's, festivals and fairs. Sydney is the most important and populous city in Australia.

Every year, the Hindu Council of Australia organizes a 'Diwali Mela', which is participated by thousands of Indians living in Australia. Apart from Indians, Diwali is also celebrated by the migrants from Bali, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Kenya and South Africa in Australia.

The day is marked by gaily dressed Hindus offering pujas to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi, the god and goddesses of prosperity and wealth respectively. A huge stage is prepared for the purpose which is decorated with flowers and rangoli. This is followed by engrossing classical and modern Indian dances. People come to the venue dressed in traditional apparels and have a great time making new friends and mingling with the old. Infact, this is the perfect place for social networking for nostalgic expatriates.

Towards evening, people enjoy a spectacular show of fireworks and firecrackers that make it one of the most memorable moments of their lives.

The fair also have stalls which showcase Indian apparels, crockery products, Diwali gifts, traditional Diwali sweets and other savories.

Many use the fair and auspicious time in the Hindu calendar to launch their new products and companies. The festival usually concludes with an effigy of Ravana going up in flames. For many children born in Australia, it was an introduction to the demon God and the triumph of good over evil.

Like in India, lightening of lamps and diyas at individual homes and commercial establishments on Diwali is a common practice in Australia.

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