By Pam Kiriakidis
South Morang will soon be covered with colour at the Whittlesea Colour Carnival, which celebrates the ancient Hindu tradition Holi.
For the seventh year, not-for-profit organisation Mission Smiles has organised the free event to embrace the tradition that honours good over evil.
The festival will start at midday on February 26, offering participants dance workshops, food trucks, games, and stalls, along with the annual colour toss and colour play at a multicultural stage, which will feature a live DJ.
Mission Smiles president Sunil Goel said a highlight was the colour toss that had previously helped the non-Indian community integrate with Indian culture.
“One of the key things that we do is a colour toss, which is effectively throwing the colours in the air at the same time, [with] hundreds of people in front of the stage,” he said.
“Our data says surprisingly more non-Indians join our festival than the Indians, which is really nice for us to see that other people really look forward to what we do.
“It keeps us going – that is why we are doing the festival every single year. It helps integrate the Indian community with the others, and at the same time, the other communities see the Indians and what they are bringing to Australia, especially in a multicultural society.”
Mr Goel said tradition was part of Indian culture, especially in the City of Whittlesea and neighbouring suburbs that have a large Indian population.
The festival has been a successful recipient of City of Whittlesea and Victorian Multicultural Commission grants, which Mr Goel said was ‘recognition’ for the multicultural organisation.
“Obviously [the City of Whittlesea and the State Government], they’re ready to support us because they can see the benefit it is bringing [and] the success the event is,” he said.
The celebration is from 12pm to 9pm on February 26 at the City of Whittlesea office grounds, located at 25 Ferres Boulevard, South Morang.
To secure free tickets, visit https://bit.ly/3HZaH1U.