At this time of year, many residents in my electorate will be joining almost a billion people around the world of Hindu, Sikh and Jain faith in celebrating Diwali. Diwali is one of the most important festivals for those faiths and is a time of renewal, light and colour. It is referred to as the festival of light and it represents the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. And, while we may have witnessed some darkness during the last 18 months from the pandemic, we are certainly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I know that, with the resumption of overseas travel, there will be many in our Indian community celebrating Diwali, knowing that they will be able to visit their family and friends again.
I’m very proud of the contribution that those of Indian and Nepalese origins and from other Hindu, Sikh and Jain backgrounds are making to my part of Sydney. Sadly, this year and last, COVID has meant that many of the celebrations in my community have not been able to occur. But I want to acknowledge the work of local community organisations, like my friends at the Lane Cove Indian community association, who have found new ways to mark important festivals like this online. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the celebrations of Diwali back in the streets of my community in the years ahead.
So, to all of those celebrating Diwali across Australia, in my electorate and indeed around the world, I want to say: Shubh Diwali, and I hope the festival brings enormous joy and happiness to your families.