Significant Hindu festival marks the start of a new season in Docklands
Vasant Festival, the Indian cultural festival marking the start of the spring season, took over Docklands’ Buluk Park and Library at the Dock on Saturday, February 25, with a flurry of exciting activities.
A significant festival in India’s calendar year known as Vasant Utsav, the celebration is represented by people dressed in yellow to worship Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, art, language, and knowledge.
While Australia is approaching autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere, the festival was organised by Docklands Neighbourhood House (DNH), which is under the operation of not-for-profit group The Centre, and community members, to bring some vibrancy to the area.
“Docklands is a hub of multicultural people from across the world, and what could have been a greater occasion than to merge it with the vibrancy of Vasant Utsav,” DNH organiser and Docklands Representative Group member, Aditi Rawal said.
It was a platform to bring people together and celebrate the unity in diversity, and it was a really mesmerising event.
The festival, which attracted around 200 people throughout the day, started at Library at the Dock with a special story time for children, followed by free children’s arts activities where attendees could make their own Holi coloured dough to take home.
The main attraction of the festival, and a much-anticipated event, was the Docklands Talent Show, which was divided into age groups of three to five, six to 12, and 13-plus.
Highlights included a group dance of kids who were all younger than five; a three-year-old girl who was able to recall all the capital cities around the world off by heart, and a number of other dances in the styles of K-Pop, hip-hop, and Indian folk.
“Kids as young as three performed and it was amazing to give a platform to upcoming young talents of the Docklands community,” Ms Rawal said.
“I have never witnessed any event where amateur talents are getting performance space and recognised for their efforts. We are blessed with such a beautiful neighbourhood and The Centre to facilitate community events like this. We definitely look forward to more such events where inclusion of multicultural communities is witnessed.” •