Every October, with the growing of mangoes, the Indian community in Australia starts up their activities for diwali festival that not only provides them business opportunities for the diaspora, but also makes a substantial contribution to the local economy of the Indian business in Australia.
Diwali has added to Indian – Australian multicultural calendar as one of the largest festivals. Organized by the Hindu Council of Australia (HCA) in Sydney the festival provides a platform for corporations and small businesses to showcase their wares. Apart from banks and telecom multinational companies, it has also found some Australian sponsors participating in Indian festivals to market their local products and businesses in that location.
Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square provides over A$1 million annually in direct and “in kind” support to approximately 20 multicultural festivals in Australia, including Diwali which attracts Indians in Australia.
The city decks up with 50 Diwali banners and the Federation Square hosts traditional and fusion dances, and Bollywood film screening sponsored by Many Indian – Australian Businessmen.
Most of it before the Indian migrants, who came after the “White Australia” celebrated Diwali with few friends at home, a game of cards and sparklers thrown in, and going to a temple. But now, Diwali celebration has moved to restaurants, lawn, parties with family and all Indian people.
“Sydney, as with most cities of the Western world, is time-poor, so instead of cooking at home, Indians in Australia lean to go out to Indian restaurants during Diwali,” Indian restaurants in Australia play a vital role in catapulting Indian cuisine from a take-away option to fine dining. The restaurant has six chefs from different states and caters for regional festivities too.
Bengalis and Gujarati’s celebrate Dussehra in a big way at Australia. The New South Wales Gujarati Samaj organize the flagship Garba event in Sydney for four nights, which attract Indian as well as Australian people. Many Indians residing in Australia sponsor garba celebration which help promote businesses from Gujarat to Australia
Another unique International Festival is Parramasala, which is celebrated in South Asian parts. In its second year, the eight-day festival is set to attract 80,000 and has a turnover of $1.5 million and it will increase by 50 per cent this year. The net impact will increase as the festival is fast becoming a tourist magnet for domestic and some international tourists
Like other festivals, the Holi Mahotsav is celebrated in large number among Australian and Indian people. Holi Mahotsav has grown from a one-day event in 2003 to a three-day event now. This is one of the big revenue creating festivals organized by both Indian and Australian Federation.
The cost of hosting and organizing the festival is close to A$250,000 and benefits generated by the festival to the local economy exceed A$500,000.