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Thousands braved rains to enjoy Diwali Mela festivities in Sydney

More than 25 academies performed at the Mela this year. Source: SBS Punjabi

While Diwali is still a few weeks away, the spirit of festivities was still bright and clear on the faces of community members who came talking to us at SBS stall.

SBS Punjabi team attended Diwali Mela 2018 at Sydney’s Blacktown and greeted many community members from all walks of life.

While Diwali is still a few weeks away, the spirit of festivities was still bright and clear on the faces of community members who came talking to us at SBS stall.

Diwali Mela 2018
Children adorned colorful fancy dresses of historical characters.
SBS Punjabi

SBS stall was offering free photos, giveaways and an opportunity for our audience to share their views regarding our program, segments and presentations.

We spoke to a number of community members e.g. organizer of mela Bikram Singh Cheema, Jagjit Singh a regular listener of Punjabi program, Rupinder Kaur who has politics in her blood, youth Varinder Singh ex-student and a couple of bubbly school going children as well.

Enjoy the mela through photos

Through SBS, Bikram Cheema thanked all mela visitors by saying, ‘The weather is not very favourable but still I can more than 6 thousand people enjoying the mela today. We had planned an effigy of Ravana but due to wet weather, we had to drop it. However, we do have all Ram Leela characters mixing with crowds to instill the Diwali spirit.’

‘In today’s mela, more than 25 dance and music academies from Sydney are performing plus we have 6 competitions towards the end of the day. Overall, more than 75 stalls have been set up though there were 12 last minute cancellations due to wet weather’.

Despite wet weather, mela visitors were lucky to enjoy colourful fireworks at the end of the Mela.

SBS Punjabi also spoke to Jagjit Singh who is a regular listener of Punjabi program with his family and said, ‘We love all segments and presentations of the SBS Punjabi’.

Jagjit Singh has two school going children and when SBS Punjabi told them about National Language Competition of SBS, they were quite excited and showed keen interest to participate.

Gidha video

We also spoke to Rupinder Kaur another Punjabi program regular, who told us that she loves current affair segments in particular as she has politics in her blood.

‘My mum is an ex-MC from Mandi Gobindgarh and by nature, I follow political happenings around me’, said Rupinder.

Another community youth Varinder Singh who came to Australia on the student visa applied for his PR under Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme shared his journey of last five years that he has lived in Australia.

Varinder has some reservations on forcing students to study in regional universities and thinks, ‘Unlike metro city universities, not all regional universities offer the wide range of courses’.

Malwai Gidha by Punjabi youth

However, another community member Satbir Singh has welcomed the government’s proposed decision of sending all migrants to regional areas for x number of years before they can get their citizenship by saying, ‘Metro cities have become too crowded and something needs to be done. If I have the courage to migrate and settle in a completely new country, then it doesn’t matter if I settle down in a metro or regional city’.

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