The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Consulate General of India, Sydney and the Art Gallery of New South Wales organised a ‘Diwali Storytime’ at the gallery’s Children’s Art library. The kids gathered there from different cultural backgrounds got to hear about jalebis, firecrackers and rangolis.
Niyati Mehta, Director SVCC, Sydney (part of Indian Council for Cultural Relations) told The Australia Today about how the idea of having a book reading to celebrate Diwali came about.
Niyati Mehta speaking with Pallavi Jain
Award winning author Susanne Gervay OAM and Niyati Mehta conducted the special story time and enthralled the little kids with their readings from three children’s book provided by the library.
The three books, ‘It’s Diwal!’, ‘Elephants with Wings’ and ‘Amma’s Sari’ gave a glimpse of Indian culture to the kids at the library ranging from age 1 to 10.
‘It’s Diwal!’ is writtern by Kabir and Surishtha Sehgal with illustrations by Archana Sreenivasan. ‘Elephants with Wings’ is by the author-illustrator team of Susanne Gervay and Anna Pignataro and Amma’s Sari is by Sandhya Parappukkaran with illustrations from Michelle Pereira.
Ms Gervay read her own book ‘Elephant with Wings, while Ms Mehta read from It’s Diwal! and Amma’s Sari, to the delight of the children.
Author Susanne Gervay told Pallavi Jain about how her six-year-old grandson thinks that she is an Indian given her love for the rich culture of India. Speaking about Diwali she said “I love Diwali I would love it to be across this country as well as India as it’s about light…Diwali is a very precious festival”.
Susanne Gervay in conversation with Pallavi Jain
Clair Eggleston is Senior Librarian at the Arts Gallery of New South Wales and was involved in organising the ‘Diwali Storytime’ session. She said that the opportunity to celebrate Diwali was very appealing and it has been a great celebration.
Clair Eggleston speaking with Pallavi Jain
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