House of Representatives on 12 November 2020
(13:58): This Saturday marks Diwali, one of the most important festivals in the Hindu, Sikh and Jain faiths. Thousands from the Indian-Australian community in my electorate will join over a billion people around the world to celebrate a time of renewal, light and colour. Diwali, or the festival of lights, marks the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It’s a wonderful time for families to come together and share or renew bonds of kinship. Normally Diwali would be celebrated across Australia with cultural performances, bazaars and the brilliant food for which India is so famous. Because of the pandemic, Diwali celebrations will look a little different this year. Many public community celebrations will be happening either in a modified, low-key form or not at all. But I am pleased that the Lane Cove Indian community is still marking Diwali with a rangoli display at Lane Cove Council and a drawing competition, which I’ve been honoured to be asked to help judge.
Diwali, for me, is also a time to reflect on how much Indian Australians contribute to making Australia the world’s most successful multicultural nation and why Australia’s continued relationship with the Republic of India is so important. I’m sure we will all find our own ways to celebrate. I might even try to match the Prime Minister’s legendary Indian curry skills in my own kitchen this weekend. To all those celebrating Diwali this year, I say: shubh Diwali!