Sociology of Indian-Australians and the Diwali Festival

I’ve been away for work for awhile now, and hope to bring you more on this soon. For now, I thought I’d share with you a post I had planned to  publish weeks ago, but haven’t been able to finish until now. Let’s talk about the sociology of Indian people in Australia, with a case study of the Hindu festival of Diwali in Melbourne.

Indian migration to Australia has a long history, dating back to the 19th Century,  with early records showing the British brought Indian servants (noting this may have included forced servitude). At the time of colonial Australia’s first Census, there were 1,800 Indian people in Australia. Today, Indian-Australians represent our fourth largest migrant group and they are also the biggest growing migrant group next to China, with their population doubling in the past decade, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In the most recent Census of 2016, over 455,000 Australians were born in India, corresponding to 1.9% of our population, though this does not include the second-generation (their children born in Australia).  Together with Nepalese-Australians, Indian people make up 76% of the Hindu population in Australia (noting that Hindu people make up only 1.9% of our national population).

Indian families gather at Diwali: Indian Festival of Light Oct 2014. Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia
Diwali: Indian Festival of Light, Federation Square

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Artability is a free exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, Melbourne, featuring visual artists of various culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and ages who have a disability or who live with mental illness. This piece is “Offering of Peace and Love” by Kishari Patwardhan.

Lunar New Year 2017

Happy new year from Sydney! Here are the six lunar lanterns representing the symbols of: the rabbit; pig; horse; ox; tiger; and monkey! Continue reading Lunar New Year 2017

Windows of the World

The Korean Embassy opened its for doors to the public for Windows of the World, a celebration of our embassies and Australian diplomatic relations. So much amazing food it was hard to choose, but I went with Bulgogi. It is delicious, especially to the background K-pop music is equally awesome.

The Korean Intermarried Women’s Association was a very interesting stand at the Windows of the World festival in Canberra.

Korean Australians do not represent one of the largest groups of intermarriage in Australia (Canadians, Americans, Indigenous Australians and Thai people top the list). Nevertheless this stand was sociologically interesting. The other stands were food related, there were a handful of different Christian Korean groups and community friendship groups. In amongst this mix, I loved seeing a women’s group! They seemed to be having a lovely time and were nice to try to answer my sociology questions.

The Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina hosts this public celebration for the   Windows of the World Festival. Unlike the other embassies which had a constant stream of different public, the event seems to be attended by people who all know one another and most people are speaking either Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian, including the MC. It’s more like a family event.

Sydney Taiwan Festival

Haka music at the Sydney Taiwan Festival. This song is about the people under the sun. The band uses a mix of modern and traditional instruments. The children who cone onstage at the end are from am Indigenous ethic group who also have a stall here.

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Malaysian Festival

Join me in a visual sociology of the Malaysian Festival, held at Tumbalong Park, Sydney. It was wonderful!

Making murtabak. Wrapped roti canai filed with meat curry with eggs and onions. Wow!

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National Multicultural Festival

Inka Marka playing at the The National Multicultural Festival in Canberra.

One of the most beautiful and famous Peruvian songs, El Condor Pasa. Played here by Inka Marka.

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