Diwali and Annakut Exhibition | Members Statement

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the inauguration of the Diwali and Annakut exhibition organised by the BAPS Swaminarayan mandir at Parliament House in Queen’s Hall. This three-day exhibition is currently on display in Queen’s Hall until this Thursday. The exhibition is to provide members of Parliament, staff and visitors an opportunity to broaden and deepen their understanding of the two most important Indian and Hindu festivals. These festivals are Diwali, the festival of lights, and Annakut, the festival of gratitude. Diwali is one of the most coveted festivals in the Hindu calendar and celebrates the win of good over evil. Annakut, the mountain of food, is a testament to Hindu spirituality, where offerings of food are given to deities. Thousands of Swaminarayan mandirs and centres around the world celebrate Annakut. I congratulate and thank BAPS Swaminarayan mandir and the 19 participating associations for showing leadership in organising this significant exhibition at Parliament House. Actual Diwali and Annakut festivals will be celebrated in October, but this exhibition is an excellent opportunity for MPs to gain knowledge about these festivals ahead of time. This will assist MPs to better engage with Indian associations and participate in the Diwali events in their own electorates in October. I would strongly encourage all my parliamentary colleagues to visit the exhibition in Queen’s Hall. I look forward to attending the upcoming Diwali and Annakut celebrations in October of various Swaminarayan organisations. I am thankful to all Swaminarayan organisations in Victoria, as they do commendable community work and strengthen multiculturalism.