The NSW Parliament for the first time hosted Onam celebrations, the Hindu harvest festival from the Indian state of Kerala. The event was organised by the World Malayalee Council Sydney.
Onam is celebrated over ten days between August-September every year in India and amongst the Indian diaspora. It is symbolic of the legendary and virtuous King Mahabali’s annual homecoming. This year Onam was celebrated around the world from 30th August to 8th September.
Among those present at the celebrations were NSW Parliament Speaker Jonathan Richard O’Dea, NSW Corrections Minister Dr Geoffrey Lee, Chief Liberal Party whip in NSW Legislative Council Scott Farlow, Shadow Minister for Sport and Youth, Julia Finn, who also hosted the celebrations and Indian Council General in Sydney, Manish Gupta.
Julia Finn, looking dazzling in a Sari at the celebrations, said that it was great to be able to celebrate ancient festivals like Onam at the NSW Parliament.
Well known for her Sari collection and looking resplendent in a traditional Kerala Sari, Australia India Business Council (AIBC) Chair and former Leader of the Opposition in the NSW Parliament, Jodi McKay told The Australia Today that it was marvellous to have Onam celebrations in the oldest Parliament of Australia.
Fijian-Indian origin Deputy Mayor of Ku-ring-gai Council, Barbara Ward, and Indian-origin Councillors in various Sydney councils, Charishma Kaliyanda, Reena Jethi and Sreeni Pillamarri also attended the event. The evening was peppered with dazzling peformances and showcased a slice of the rich tapestry of Indian culture.
Council General of India in Sydney, Manish Gupta, said that Onam being celebrated in the oldest Parliament of Australia spoke volumes about the values of multicultural Australia.
Irfan Malik, World Malayalee Council Sydney Chair and Global Vice President for Far-East and Australia region, told The Australia Today that the celebrations symbolised the Indian ethos of the world being one family, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
World Malayalee Council Sydney Province and Global Youth Forum Secretary Seema Balasubramanian (L) and World Malayalee Council Far East and Australia Region Women’s Forum President Deepa Sujeet (R) also shared their feelings with The Australia Today.
Image source: Julia Finn MP Facebook