Hobart embraces Diwali spirit

HOBART showcased its multiculturalism when it embraced the spirit of Diwali at Street Eats in Franklin Square in early November.

Deepavali Tasmania Inc partnered with Street Eats @ Franko to deliver the festival of light for its fourth year, and third at the venue.

Diwali symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness and the festival was a sensory experience of sight, sound and taste from various communities originating from the Indian subcontinent.

Deepavali Tasmania president Ajit Ramadas said the event brought a characteristic charm, as well as a cultural and culinary experience to all Tasmanians.

“Diwali is spreading the light of wisdom, the light of freedom, the light of happiness,” he said.

“People celebrate the festivities in their houses and in their community groups – we got all those groups together, so it was a multicultural group.

“There were more than 16 community groups who performed and the different people came from eight different nationalities, so it was definitely unique.”

Deepavali Tasmania is a not-for-profit organisation and Mr Ramadas said the event provided an opportunity for many diverse groups to come together on a common platform to form social networks and understanding.

“We had all different types of dancers and performers, so it gave more opportunities to community members,” he said.

“Fifty to 60 per cent of the people performing were amateurs and we provided them with support so they could perform – in that way it helped with their confidence.”

The event showcased the various talents of children, university students and young adults belonging to different Indian ethnic cultural groups.

Since the festival has been running, the migrant community has been able to express itself to a larger audience.

Santhana Vaidhyanathan has been living in Tasmania for eight years and has performed at all the Diwali festivals in Hobart.

“It’s a place where we can showcase our culture and tradition, and it gives us a really good stage to bring everyone together and to share it with all Tasmanians,” Mr Vaidhyanathan said.

Caption: From left, Deepavali Tasmania organising committee Gloria Smith, Theni Kuppusamy, Ajit Ramadas, Mithun Bacheval and Kiran Yellapu.

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