Celebration of culture
HUNDREDS of people from the NSW North Coast Indian community packed into the Murwillumbah Civic Centre on Saturday night for the area’s first Lohri cultural festival.
One of the organisers, Marie Burke, said a army of volunteers helped put on the celebrations, which are traditionally held in many Indian communities throughout the world, originally in the Punjab region.
“It was very full on,” she said.
“The Indian ladies provided all the food. They started cooking on Wednesday and kept going.
“They were very, very busy.
“Lots of younger people were also given tasks to do.”
The move to hold the Lohri celebrations, which give thanks for new born babies and brides as well as the annual harvest, she said was initiated by Murwillumbah resident Sam Singh, who is celebrating the birth of two grandsons.
The celebrations, which began at the Civic Centre on Saturday at 5pm, featured local children doing traditional Indian dancing, recognition of the agricultural harvest of the region and a welcome to newly-born children, particularly grandchildren, and new brides.
Lohri festivals originated in Punjab and as a day of imparting social love to one and all with Indian people from all castes and social strata coming together.