Sandown Race Course: The Australian Indian Innovations Inc (AIII) hosted its 8th successive Holi Fair at Sandown Racecourse and was very well attended by more than 7000 patrons passing through the gates on the day – the number over the years has been increasing attracting patrons from all ethnic origins, mostly youth with full vigour and zest of the Holi colours, mood and spirit.
To set them all up for the day, among the many delights and showcases on offer at Sandown were the mouth-watering and exotic Indian Food and drinks, Ice Cream Vans, Tattoo artist, variety of Children’s Rides and the traditional playing of powder colours. A wide variety of powder colours, including a GOLD range were on offer for the first time in Australia.
This year’s entertainment was organized by the South-East’s leading DJs – DJ BABA and DJ VIJAY who delivered as they had promised to provide a massive 4 hour non-stop programme on stage, showcasing all aspects of Bollywood and Punjabi Music.
As far as their sharing the stage and time and entertaining the crowd, “I thought the pair worked beautifully. Perhaps they are from the same community which clicked. The versatile Vijay does live singing as well which enthralled and entertained the crowd. Between them they had a equal Punjabi and Hindi music which kept the crowd happy”, Yogen Lakshman, Vice President of the AIII and main architect behind the festival said, talking exclusively to Bharat Times.
Local dance groups Mai Nachungi dance company, Bindaas Bollywood and Just Naach Kept the audiences mesmerised in the entertainment segment.
The traditional aspect of Holi (the Holika Dahan Pooja and the Pallavi Sewa procession) was be performed by members of JET Australia from Noon. This formal aspect of Holi was keenly attended by all prior to the entertainment and AIII invited the general public to actively participate in the burning of the HOLIKA, ‘appreciating the religious significance of Holi’.
Pallavi Sewa procession headed by JET Australia was carried by Hon. Matthew Guy, Hon. Inga Peulich and other invited dignitaries around the central arena with appropriate background music.
According to Mr Lakshman “the AIII is indebted to the State Government, in particular the Premier’s Office and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC) for their initiative in providing a $30,000 special grant to celebrate this event.”
Although despute invitations, no one attended from OMAC (Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship) (VMC and Helen Kapalos are you listening?).
AIII is thankful a further thre years funding for the festival – 3 grants of $30,000 have been confirmed.
BT understands AIII will be organising 2 more Holi events in the South Eastern suburbs (in 2017 and 2018) and 1 Holi Event in the City of Melbourne in 2019.
How does Mr Lakshman see Holi 2017 – “ I see no different on Holi 2017 as I’ve seen over the past 8 years. It will have the same mela atmosphere with DJ Music and powder colours as the central theme… but a lot bigger…
Suddenly Melbourne is abuzz with this festival – especially with fun and frolic of it. Is it not?
“The growing number of groups now celebrating Holi has quadrupled in just 3 years. This year Melbourne witnessed 8 Holi events – next year there could be 10!” said Mr Lakshman who is all praise for his team and volunteers.
“The committee is lucky to have so many dedicated volunteers in the community who assisted with the powder stall, the marquee set-up and advertising. Without their support it will only be too difficult to implement things so successfully”, Mr Lakshman added.
Here is a nostalgic view of the fun:[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”3″ gal_title=”AIII HOLI 2016″]