The Hon. Paul Papalia and BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha have once again hosted the Hindu celebrations of Diwali and Annakut at Parliament House.
The celebration of Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, commenced with a prayer for world peace and for the Australian farming community.
This was followed by the lighting of the ceremonial Divo lamp. Diwali represents hope, promise and renewal as well as freedom from darkness, misery and evil and the lighting of the Divo lamp symbolises the shutting out of darkness.
Annakut, the day after Diwali, marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. On this day, the Annakut, or 'mountain of food,' is offered as a symbol of appreciation and gratitude. There was certainly a mountain of food to behold at Tuesday's celebrations with a colourful, tiered display of over 50 vegetarian delicacies. An offering of these dishes was made accompanied by a traditional thaal or devotional song.
Hon. Premier Mark McGowan and Hon. Paul Papalia were garlanded with traditional fresh flowers before addressing the gathering.
The Premier spoke of the importance of multiculturalism, his support for multicultural diversity and the strengthening of relationships with the Indian community in Western Australia.
Minister Papalia recognised the immense contribution of the Western Australian Indian communities to development of this state and the benefits that multiculturalism brings to us all. The Minister also reflected on his recent trip to India and how he is currently working to establish direct flights between India and Perth, with the aim of growing the number of visitors travelling to Western Australia from India.
The Premier and the Minister both wished all Western Australian Indian communities, and all present at the event, happiness, peace and prosperity for Diwali.
To commemorate Diwali and Annakut, Parliament house will be lit up orange until 9 November, 2018.