Melbourne, March 17: India’s colourful and fun-filled festival – AIII hosted Holi 2019 was celebrated for the first time in the heart of Melbourne on March 10.
Held at landmark FedSquare – a magnificent kaleidoscope of colour embraced the city’s heart with colour and plenty of it.
Hosted by the Australian Indian Innovations Inc., the maiden festival of colour with free entry, witnessed a massive all-day DJ set, henna and tattoo stalls, live and booming dhol drumming, fantastic food, Bollywood dancing and more – an all-out celebration of Indian culture.
Assisted with funding from the Andrews government, AIII accomplished to bring the Festival of Colours to the City of Melbourne. A road-show travelled from the City of Dandenong to the Paddocks in Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne.
“The City of Melbourne got a taste of colours, sound and dances of HOLI, especially coinciding with the closing day of Moomba which brought added entertainment to tourists and local Melbournians attending Moomba,” Yogen Lakshman of AIII said talking to Bharat Times.
Some 6,000 patrons passed through the event during the 6 hour non-stop dance and music of Bollywood.
An equal number of spectators enjoyed the display from major vantage points with glimpses of the colour festival. Indian and tourists alike got into the action of colour in the early stages, before the faithful supporters of the ‘AIII’s youths’ made their presence felt on the gravel pavements of the Paddock.
The open air car park was transformed into an open air dance stadium as guest DJ’s kept the crowd continuously on their feet.
Major sponsor stalls from Aussizz Travel & Migration and Central Equity as well as Indian and International food specialist Curry King were amongst the main stall holders at the event.
This entertainment was put together by Guest DJ’s from Dr RnB Entertainment (DJ Shyam & DJ Kaushal), melodious Holi Songs from the South-East’ own Vijay Kumaran and an array of dance school performance led by Bindaas Bollywood.
A massive 6 hour non-stop programme on stage to showcase all aspects of Bollywood and Punjabi Music kept the crowd and the spectators continuously dancing.
Invited guests included the Minister for Multicultural Affairs Hon. Richard Wynne, President of the Legislative Council Hon Shaun Leanne, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Hon Neil Angus and Former Premier of Victoria Hon Ted Baillieu.
Although, Melbourne has witnessed many Holi festivals over the last 20 years, but AIII’s Fed Sq – Holi in the City is a maiden Initiative and given the massive turn-out and community engagement from multicultural communities, this event is expected to return in 2020 on a larger scale.
The next Sunday, the City of Greater Dandenong witnessed the annual AIII’s Holi Festival at the Tatterson Park in Keysborough.
The venue became a little India covered with colours.
This is the 11th successive Holi Fair by AIII at Tatterson Park attended over the years by thousands of patrons from all ethnic origins, mostly youths.
Among the many delights and showcases on offer were mouth-watering and exotic Indian food and drinks, ice cream vans, Henna artiste, clothing, variety of children and Camel rides and the traditional playing of powder colours.
The same group of Fed Sq DJs entertained and played for 6 hour non-stop programme on stage to showcase all aspects of Bollywood and keeping the 3,500 strong crowds dancing continuously.
The traditional aspect of Holi – Holika Dahan Pooja was performed at noon by the AIII’s resident Priest, Babu Akula.
Of all the Holis that happen in Melbourne, this is the only community organisation that performs this important aspect of the Festival. This formal ritual of Holi is keenly attended by all prior to the entertainment and the general public always participate in the traditional burning of the HOLIKA.
Invited guests included the Mayor of the City of Greater Dandenong, Cr Roz Blades, Councillors Tim Dark and Sophie Tan and Hon Neil Angus, State Member for Forest Hill.
“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 enormous contribution to celebrate this event,” Yogen Lakshman said.
“In addition to our many sponsors and stall holders who each year come forth and support this event, will see us return to Springers again in 2020 and beyond”.