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Vaisakhi Celebrated in NSW Parliament

Punjabi Council of Australia celebrated Vaisakhi at NSW Parliament on 2nd April 2012. This was the seventh celebration in a row organised by Punjabi Council of Australia with NSW Parliament and Parliamentary host Nathan Reese, State MP from Toongabbie.

Vaisakhi is an important day in Sikh Calendar being Birthday of Sikh Community dating back to 1699. Vaisakhi is also a great cultural festival celebrated in Northern India- when wheat crop is ready for harvest and farmers dress up in bright colourful and dance with the beat of drum.

The guests started coming in from 5.30pm at the Historic Jubilee Hall of the Parliament. The program officially began at 6.00PM with traditional Shabad Singing by North Shore Sikh Youth Choir, Turramurra followed by National Anthem of Australia and India.

Dr Moninder Singh started the proceedings and welcomed the dignitaries including Leader of the Opposition John Robertson MP, Victor Dominello MP Minister for Citizenship & Communities, & Minister for Aboriginal Affairs representing Premier Barry O Farrell, Nathan Rees and Harjit Sethi, Vice Consul at Indian Consulate Sydney and Amarinder Bajwa President UIA. All the dignitaries addressed the gathering. Other dignitaries present were many Parliamentarians, leaders from Indian and Pakistani community, and representatives from Sikh Centres Parklea, Turramurra and Revesby, and Cultural Associations & Sports Clubs.

Vaisakhi in NSW Parliament AustraliaDr Moninder Singh introduced the Punjabi Council of Australia team comprising of Prabhjot Singh Sandhu, Kulwant Singh, Rajwant Singh, Kamaljit Singh Walia, Balraj Sangha & Mandhir Singh Sandha and thanked the sponsors Satinder Benepal from Maharaja Haveli and Ajay Raj from Maya Da Dhaba.

Every year Punjabi Council of Australia recognises contributions of members of the community by presenting Pride of Punjabis Awards. This year four individuals received the awards namely Kamaljit Singh Bakshi, first MP of Indian Origin in NZ Parliament, Kulbir Singh Suri- Punjabi writer and publisher, Bawa Singh Jagdev- OAM & Jagmandeep Singh– a budding sportsman from Victoria. Minister Victor Dominello and Leader of the Opposition John Robertson MP, joined Punjabi Council members in presenting the certificates.

The guests also saw the glimpses of rich Punjabi Culture. Popular dance Bhangra which is now attaining global recognition was performed by Punjabi Paneeri Group (organised by Reema Randhawa). The event finished with light refreshments courtesy Maharaja Haveli.

Events like the Vaisakhi Celebrations at the Parliament House demonstrate recognition of valuable contribution of Indian Community especially Punjabi Community in Australia. The invitation was extended to all other communities and their overwhelming participation proved that Punjabi Community belongs to all and all belongs to Punjabi Community. Presence of guests in large numbers ensured that Vaisakhi Celebrations should be repeated for many years to come.

Punjabi Council of Australia would like to thank everyone for their support and we assure that vaisakhi next year will be much more colourful.

Earlier on 1st April 2012, Punjabi Council of Australia has organised Community Get together with Punjabi writer and publisher Kulbir Singh Suri at Australian Academy of Management & Science College in Quakers Hill. Suri’s father, Nanak Singh, was a father figure in Punjabi literature and he is carrying on his legacy. Kulbir Singh Suri has made his mark by his writings books for children. He is not only a great writer but a great flute player too. Kamaljit Singh Bakshi chaired the session and shared his journey to politics in New Zealand.

vaisakhi in Australia




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