Dr Harry Harinath (OAM), Chairman Parramasala, Mr Bollywood Anupam Sharma as Parramasala Ambassador, Events Extraordinaire Sonia Gandhi, Di Henry Festival Director and New South Wales Premier Mike Baird MP at a gala launch in Harris Park “Little India” announced the program for Parramasala 2014, a festival of the many diverse and rich cultures in Sydney.
To be held Friday 17 October – Sunday 19 October 2014 through Harris Park and Parramatta, now in its fifth year with the focus for this year’s festival will be on free, public events and celebrations.
NSW Premier Mike Baird said: “Parramatta is home to a culturally diverse population, and events such as Parramasala help us to embrace our state’s diversity and encourage us to learn more about each other’s cultures and traditions.”
“Parramasala also reinforces Australia’s friendship with India and South Asia and celebrates the contributions made by NSW’s Indian and South Asian communities; and 44 per cent of the performers taking part in Parramasala are from Asian subcontinent backgrounds and 36 per cent of these are from India,” he said.
The festival will begin on Friday evening with a Street Parade along Church Street, Parramatta, culminating at Prince Alfred Park where a Welcome Ceremony and Concert will take place. Parramatta’s Prince Alfred Park is set to be the heart of Parramasala 2014, with free entertainment on the stage Saturday and Sunday, as well as the Masala Markets which will offer a wide range of stalls and experiences, plus camel rides and a Chai Temple.
The Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Councillor John Chedid, announced details of the new event in this year’s program – the Harris Park Bollywood Block Party.
“The Harris Park Bollywood Block Party on Saturday evening will transform the intersection of Wigram Street and Marion Street into a pedestrian-only celebration zone where people can enjoy street-hawker style food, dancers, musicians and DJs playing a mix of world and contemporary music,” said Councillor Chedid.
“This is a wonderful addition to the Parramasala program and an ideal way to showcase Harris Park’s increasingly popular culinary offerings.”
Parramasala 2014 has commissioned three works for this year’s event program – the documentary Ashok Roy Story by Oonagh Sherrard; and, in partnership with the Information and Cultural Exchange, Diaspora Stories, short films curated by Gary Paramanathan for the South Asian Film Festival, and the Chindian Diaries Exhibition. The work Diva Devine by Heather Lee will premiere at the festival. There are two international acts appearing at Parramasala 2014. India’s Ms Raminder Khurana and the Odissi Dance Group are being brought to Australia by the Indian Cultural Council for Cultural Relations to perform exclusively at Parramasala; and renowned Bharatanatyam dancer, Shobana Balachandra from Chennai, India will be joining her locally based sister Gayatri Krishnamurthy and other dancers from Wentworthville’s Thrayee School of Dance to perform Moving Celebrations.
Renowned Indian author, actor, producer and director “Mr Bollywood” Anupam Sharma was announced as the Parramasala 2014 Ambassador. Sharma, who is also Head of the Australia India Film Fund, will put his enthusiastic support behind the festival to help promote the event and has provided several of his short videos for inclusion in the South Asia Film Festival which will screen a wide range of films as part of the Parramasala weekend.
Mr Sharma said he was honoured to be Ambassador for Parramasala and excited to be a part of this year’s festival.
“Over the years Parramasala has become an important event in the cultural calendar of Sydney and is a major celebration of the vibrant, rich and diverse cultures which are thriving in this wonderful country of ours – I am eagerly looking forward to the 2014 edition,” said Anupam.
Highlights of Parramasala 2014 include:
Full details of the Parramasala program can be found at www.parramasala.com.