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Telangana Floral Festival

Two weeks ago, the ACT Telangana Association celebrated the floral festival of Bathukamma in the Belconnen Ars Centre. In the Assembly today, I thanked association president Shanti Reddy for inviting me and congratulated his team on staging such a beautiful event.

The centrepiece of the festival was a large arrangement of seasonal flowers placed on a large plate in seven concentric circles. Arranging these flowers is a folk art that is passed down from older to younger women. Females of all ages encircled the arrangement, dancing and singing. In Telugu, Bathukamma means ‘Mother Goddess come alive’, and the songs and dances honour the patron goddess of womanhood. It was joyful to watch and far too joyful not to join in!

In the same speech, I thanked the Bangladesh Australia Puja Association of Canberra and the Canberra Sanatani Sangha for inviting me to two separate Durga Puja events this month as well. Durga is a protective mother goddess, and her worship commemorates the victory of good over evil. I was attended one of these events with my daughter and her friend, and all three of us greatly enjoyed spending time with our Bangladeshi neighbours. I am grateful for Canberra’s cultural diversity.

Click on the arrow button to read my speech.

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