by VR Sreeraman on  October 13, 2009 at 5:51 PM Lifestyle News
 Diwali Celebrated in Melbourne
More than 50,000 people in Melbourne, Australia, gathered at the Federation Square to celebrate Diwali- the Festival of Lights on October 9.

The celebration was also attended by the Premier of Victoria, Mr John Brumby.

Mr Brumby said Diwali was an important occasion for the Indian community and a great example of how Victoria's multicultural communities come together to share their cultures.

"In Victoria we come from more than 200 countries of origin, speak more than 230 languages and dialects and follow more than 120 faiths - this enhances our reputation as a harmonious, vibrant and cohesive community," Mr Brumby said.

"Diwali is one of India's most significant festivals and cuts across all religious, social and economic differences and is celebrated globally by the Indian diaspora.

"It is a festive occasion that offers a wonderful combination of revelry and tradition. And it's a festival that is enjoyed by people of different faiths and backgrounds across the world."

The festival featured Bollywood dance and music performances and workshops, Indian fashion and craft displays, food, jewellery, music and movies, clothing and other variety stalls, a magic show for children, traditional henna hand painting and a sunset fireworks display.

"Diwali is a marvellous expression of what we all strive to achieve as a community of varied backgrounds, faiths and interests and it is wonderful to see so many people from different cultures coming together," Mr Brumby said.

"Victorians are proud of our diverse multicultural heritage and that's why we are proud to support programs that both promote and strengthen our rich diversity.

"The Diwali festival is a wonderful example of how Victorian communities share traditions, cultures and friendships to make the State a vibrant multicultural society."

Mr Brumby said his visit to India had helped to reaffirm and build on strong relationships between Victoria and India. "The many students I spoke to in India understood that while there may be isolated incidents, Victoria is a very safe destination," he said.

"My message to the Indian community, which is well established in Victoria, has been that they are valued members of our community and that we will not tolerate racism of violence in any form against any member of our community."

Source: ANI

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