DELHI India and MELBOURNE Australia --
In Melbourne, Australia, the bright colours of Holi were
freely smeared on the faces of Indians and Europeans during
this Holi revelry on Easter Sunday,
write Swami Anand Kul Bhushan and Shan Gupta.
The local Indians were in high spirits to celebrate the
festival of colours with fellow Aussies in thousands.
But the Indians never expected the fellow Australians to
join them in such big numbers in many different locations in
In addition to the major Hindu temple, a smaller temple
organized the celebrations a well and the organisers were
overwhelmed at the response.
Sankat Mochan Kendra organized ‘Festival of Colours‘Rang
Barse’ was the title of this event and hundreds turned up on
27 March, Easter Sunday.
As around 5,000 turned up.
It was culmination of months and months of planning and
dedicated efforts of the working group which involved
members of Sankat Mochan Samiti Inc. (SMS) and the dedicated
staff of Monash Council, which provided the partial funding,
venue and strict guidelines to hold such a big Hindu
celebration for the first time in the City of Monash.
The long queues at the food stalls for variety of
sumptuous food, kiddies rides including the most popular
camel ride and non-stop dancing by the participants to the
beats of DJ Ash and DJ Uday with hundreds of performers on
the stage of various age groups.
Almost 70 children below the age of 12 participated in
the cultural program, representing the dances from different
regions of India.
The Member of Parliament, Steve Dimopoulos, turned up
with the Mayor of Melbourne and many councilors and made the
usual speeches about goodwill and good times.
The previous week, a mela was arranged at four places.
Some creative Aussies have named Holi as colour festival
and charge an Entry Fee of A$60 each, and colour cost A$10
for a small packet.
The Hindu festivals were free.
The attractions included DJs, dances, camel ride, food
stalls and were enjoyed by thousands.
Many Aussies also played Holi in temples free of charge.
Local councils and the police contributed a lot.
Holi may have overtaken Diwali in Melbourne now.
This is simply due to the fun factor enjoyed by Aussies.
Up to 2005, Holi was not a major celebration.
Later, it started in a small way in the major temple as a
Over the years, it has grown in size and variety.
This is the first year, it has gone really big.
The Aussies have been introduced to Holi by giving the
example of the La Tomatina festival in East Spain in which
participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato
fight purely for fun.
This festival has been held since 1945 in the last week
of August and has now become famous.
Playing with different colours is more fun, said an