The diversity of Indian culture will be showcased and celebrated through a festival on Saturday attended by the country’s own High Commissioner.
The second Festival of Lights run by the Albury-Wodonga Indian Association is expected to be attended by Indi MP Cathy McGowan and Ajay Gondane, the High Commissioner of India to Australia.
AWIA Cultural co-ordinator Padma Ayyagari said Dr Gondane was visiting at special invitation of Ms McGowan, on behalf of AWIA.
“This is the second year we are doing this; last year was very successful and we had 400 people in attendance,” she said.
“It’s hosted by the local Indian community, including the Bhutanese as well; this is a festival that happens every year called Diwali, or Festival of Light.
“It signifies overcoming darkness with light; overcoming evil with goodness, and puts forward a message of unity, peace and working together.”
Ms Ayyagari said there would be food and dance filling QEII Square on Saturday evening.
“Pretty much all four corners of India from north to south, and east to west are represented in 14 performances,” she said.
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“Because of the diverse nature of our country, every state has their own mini-culture, with their own language, food, and performances, and even within that there are pockets of differences as well.
“It’s basically showing the diverse nature of India, but how united it is within that diversity.
“There’s going to be stalls selling authentic Indian food, and local Indian businesses have also come forward to sponsor the event.”
Ms Ayyagari said the committee welcomed all Border residents to the event.
“As much as we are part of Albury-Wodonga, we want to celebrate and share our culture with the community,” she said.
“When I came to Australia 30 years ago, we were the fifth Indian family in this region, and now our community has grown so big no one venue can fit us all.
“I think people will really enjoy the performances.”
The “Festival of Lights”, sponsored by Albury Council and the Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council, kicks off from 6.30pm on Saturday.