West Australians are being encouraged to come together to celebrate Diwali this month, with two major events showcasing the spectacular colours of the ancient Indian festival.
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism because it symbolises the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan said Diwali was important for WA's 40,000-strong Indian community, representing a time for prayer and celebration marked by fireworks, dance, and the sharing of food.
In Perth, Diwali will be celebrated with two major community events with support from the Liberal National Government totalling $165,000, including $25,000 via the Office of Multicultural Interests, $40,000 from Lotterywest, $25,000 from Healthway and $75,000 from the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority via funding and in-kind venue support. These are:
- The Diwali Mela, hosted by the Indian Society of Western Australia, which will be held at Joondalup's HBF Arena on October 15, from 12pm with fireworks at 8.30pm
- The Swan Festival of Lights, hosted by the Temple of Fine Arts, which will be held at Elizabeth Quay from October 28 to 30.
Dr Nahan said he was pleased to announce that Parliament House would also glow orange from October 31 to November 8, to mark the celebrations.
"Diwali is a joyous celebration and one that the whole community can participate in," he said.
"It is also a time for us to reflect on the Indian community's long and proud participation in the development of Western Australia.
"With its message of compassion, selflessness, harmony and tolerance, Diwali is a festival that resonates strongly in our successful multicultural community and I encourage everyone to get involved. To everyone in WA's Indian community - I wish you a very happy Diwali."
India, which has replaced Italy on the State's top five overseas countries of birth, is now the top non-English speaking country of birth for WA
More than 40,000 people in WA indicate that they have Indian heritage
Minister's office - 6552 5700