Wallan’s Indian community celebrates festival

Jasspreet Atwal, left, claps on as women from the Indian community in Wallan perform dance as part of the Lohri Festival.

By Evelyn Leckie

THE Indian community in Wallan celebrated the Lohri Festival last week at Wallan Neighbourhood House.

The festival is a popular winter Punjabi festival that marks the end of winter solstice in the northern hemisphere.

The festival welcomes the beginning of longer days and is primarily celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs from the Punjab region.

“It’s an occasion, but the main purpose we’re here today is to meet new families in Wallan,” event organiser Bikram Singh said.

“There are many new Indian families in Wallan and it’s a way for the community to get in touch and know each other.”

Up to 50 people celebrated with dancing, sharing food and connecting at the neighbourhood house.

Acting chief executive of Mitchell Shire Council Mary Agostino attended the event to enjoy the vibrant performances put on by the Indian community.

Event organiser Jass Atwal said the festival was usually celebrated in India around a bonfire.

“We have met new families tonight which has been great,” Ms Atwal said.

“Maybe next year we can make it even bigger.”