From spicy street food, to beating drums and colourful dance, the tastes, sounds and spirit of South Asia are set to be celebrated across Parramatta as the City marks 75 years of Indian independence.
On Monday 15 August, City of Parramatta Council will host a flag raising ceremony at Jubilee Park in Parramatta’s CBD, with Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis to be joined by the Consul-General of India, Manish Gupta for the special event.
Cr Davis said the City of Parramatta is home to the largest population of Indian and South Asian people in Australia, with more than 29,000 residents identifying India as their country of birth in the 2021 Census.
“Our South Asian communities are an integral part of our City,” Cr Davis said.
“This year is a special one for our Indian community with it being 75 years since India’s independence. The event allows our communities to connect with their homeland and embrace the traditions of their Indian culture. We are proud to fly the Indian national flag to mark this momentous occasion.”
Council’s Parramatta’s Heritage and Visitor Centre has also created an Indian Independence Day online experience which features photos and local stories. Free video resources on the history of Indian Independence Day are also available through City of Parramatta Libraries.
From 12 August, Council will switch on an electrifying lighting installation through Harris Park and along the banks of the Parramatta River as part of a six-month program supporting local South Asian businesses and culture.
Marion Street will feature two decorated arches while an array of colourful lights will illuminate Parramatta River from the Ferry Terminal to Lennox Bridge until October 30. Extra elements will be added to transform the foreshore for Diwali celebrations, including a run of flags with peacocks and elephant motifs and a series of lighting installations on the Barry Wilde Bridge.
In the lead up to Indian Independence Day, Riverside Theatres will be hosting two ticketed events – Spicy Fusion, a colourful blend of dance and music, and Indian musical Simha the King. The festival also features a free event in Prince Alfred Square with live music, food, dance, rides and family fun on Sunday 7 August.
“I encourage everyone to come along and celebrate the rich heritage, culture and warmth of our dynamic Indian communities,” Cr Davis said.