Australian MP Couzens Participated in Holi organised by Nepali
Greater Geelong Nepalese Community (GGNEC) Inc and Melton Nepalese Community (MNC) have celebrated Holi (festival of colours and love) in Geelong and Aintree respectively following COVID-19 safe restriction rules.
Ms Christine Couzens, MP for Geelong, opened her speech by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land. She expressed her happiness in being part of such an incredible festival, and thanked GGNEC for inviting her.
GGNEC Founding President Dr. Santosh Pandey delivered the acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land, the Waddawurrung peoples of the Kulin Nation, and welcomed all festival participants. Dr. Pandey introduced all registered members to the participants including the Executive Team and Founding Members – Mr Jeeten Gurung (Founding VP), Mr Kundan Joshi (Founding Secretary), Mrs. Upasana Amatya (Founding Treasurer), Founding Executive Members: Ms Ninu Poon Magar, Mrs Renu Lamsal Koirala and Mrs Kabita Gyawali, GGNEC Executive Advisors Dr. Bidur Kafle and Dr. Asheem Shrestha.
Dr. Pandey noted that last year the festival was overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He acknowledged the large disruption the pandemic has had on the Nepalese community’s health & wellbeing. This year, even though regulations concerning the pandemic affected the festival, because of the easing restrictions, people were able to enjoy the Holi celebration by taking the appropriate COVID-19 safety measures implemented by the Australian Government. The event was helpful for the Nepalese Community to ease the isolation, anxiety and stress caused due to the pandemic.
VMC Regional Advisor for Barwon South West Region and Social Worker Gyanendra Upreti thanked everybody for their attendance. He recommended continuing to have these types of events in the future, to celebrate Nepalese culture, preserve Nepalese traditions for the generations to come and strengthen the social cohesion within our multicultural community.
In the Holi program organised by new Nepali community in Aintree, Lumbini-Kapilvastu Global Campaign Global Coordinator and International Nepalese Artist Society, INAS Global Advisor Ram Kumar Shrestha thanked everyone for their active participation despite short notice. Mr. Shrestha suggested going in official and organised way in the coming days in this new Nepali community due to its rapidly growing members.
The Holi event was started by exchanging, splashing, throwing and smearing colours amongst the participants and was followed by the delicious food and deserts. In Geelong food catered by Nepalese owned, The Express Taj Café and members from the Australian and African community also joined the festival.
All the participants enjoyed the Holi songs and festivities, and some even started breaking out their moves on the dance floor. It was a wonderful celebration of Nepalese culture and showcased the beauty of our great community.
In both programs children were encouraged participating the program very actively.