Diwali Festival of Lights comes to St. Kilda
Brought to you by our local Indian community

Friday 25 October - Laneway behind Space2b
Diwali beyond Bollywood, saris and cricket!

Space2b’s Laneway R1509, will come alight once again - as we recreate a ‘Buzzing and colourful Delhi thoroughfare’ with 1000 lights, music, food, dance and art – sure to stimulate all your senses!

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Anu Bajwa space2b

Anu Bajwa
Arriving to Australia in 2000, Anu, a local resident of St Kilda is a proud migrant and Australian. She is also the driver of "1000 lights for Diwali". It has been her dream ever since she first migrated in 2000 to 'celebrate Diwali here in Australia, as not only provides an opportunity to share my culture with friends and community members but also brings Diwali to Balaclava - making it home.’ Anu was motivated to bring the festival to Balaclava and share her culture after participating in a program and performance run by Space2b with comedian Judith Lucy and actor Clare Larman. With the support of Clare Larman, this Diwali Festival is the first of a series of events brought to you by the duo, including the launch of Chat aur Chai workshops.

Just like Christmas, Diwali is all about food. Anu states that 'growing up in India, Diwali was always about sharing the festival with friends and family. Platters of sweets would be exchanged between neighbours, fireworks lit the sky at night and as kids we stuffed ourselves until we couldn't any more'. This Diwali, Balaclava can expect, a range of Indian food, a samosa or two and who knows a surprise or two of something you may never have tasted before?

Indian dance is so diverse. Where there is Bhangra, there is also Bollywood, classical Bharatnatyam and so much more. The lovely children of St Kilda Primary school have been working very hard at an Indian dance which they will present at Diwali - an excellent example of social cohesion and the partaking of a joyous cultural exchange. We are counting on everyone putting on their dancing shoes to show us your moves!

Music & Dhol
The beat of the Dhol is one that I am so nostalgic about. Every wedding, festival and celebration I grew up with had a Dhol player drumming with all their might inviting everyone to get up and dance with friends and cousins.  The Dhol is a North Indian drum - yes it is loud - and dancing the Bhangra to the its beat is the best feeling ever! The Dhol is an invitation to dance  - never mind the rhythm or even if you have two left feet - it is all about the synergy. 

Another childhood memory is one of making cotton wicks together with cousins and lighting the clay Diya lamps. Times may have changed but there is nothing stopping us from painting our own Diyas and taking them home.

Clare, Anu and Mili

                                                                                                     Clare, Anu and Mili

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Photos from Diwali Festival