King George Square reverberated with the sounds of Bollywood and Indian dance and music on the night of October 25 as the festivities during Diwali 2019, The Indian Festival of Lights, organised by the Federation of Indian Communities of Queensland (FICQ), the largest non-profit umbrella organisation of the Indian communities in Australia, went underway.
The grand open-air show featuring Bollywood dances, cultural performances and Indian food was attended by a multitude of Indian diaspora members. Distinguished community leaders, high-profile politicians as well as the who’s who of the Indian community in the city were also present at the much-awaited event. Most notable among the VIPs were Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk, Lord Mayor of Brisbane Adrian Schrinner, Minister for Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs, Hon Stirling Hinchliffe MP, Cr Angela Owen, Councillor for Calamvale Ward, Dr Maha Sinnathamby, Chairman of Springfield Land Corporation, FICQ President, Dr Ram Mohan, Jim Varghese AM, National Chair, Australia India Business Council, and India’s Hon Consul in Brisbane, Archana Singh, among others.
The all-day event started at 11 in the morning, and after the ceremonial welcome of the VIPs and distinguished guests, went on well into the night. The highlights of the event were the various dance acts by several teams from within the city as well as the Bollywood industry. Earlier during the event, there were also a citizenship ceremony, a fashion show, laser show as well as fireworks near the end.
The flagship event of FICQ showcasing Indian culture and music attracts thousands of Indians every year, who are there to enjoy the music, dance programs, the Indian food and the overall Indian festivities. FICQ has been organising the Diwali festival in Brisbane since 2010, promoting harmony and multiculturalism. More than 15,000 people all over Brisbane and other parts of Queensland attend the event annually, signifying the success of the festival over the years.
Diwali, mostly observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, is now celebrated by more than a billion people across the globe every year. Even though the festival is pronounced differently and has many spellings, the common theme of triumph of good over evil and of light over darkness is well recognised.