Akanksha Varsh is among the many performers who will take part in the Victoria Hindu Parishad and Cultural Center’s two-night virtual Diwali celebration on Nov. 14 and 15. (Photo submitted by Sridevi Ganti)

Akanksha Varsh is among the many performers who will take part in the Victoria Hindu Parishad and Cultural Center’s two-night virtual Diwali celebration on Nov. 14 and 15. (Photo submitted by Sridevi Ganti)

Diwali festival goes virtual in Greater Victoria

Victoria Hindu Parishad and Cultural Center opts for two nights of online performances

Greater Victoria Diwali celebrations take place online this year due to COVID-19 and the setlists are stacked with performances by dancers, singers and young actors.

On Nov. 14 and 15, the Victoria Hindu Parishad and Cultural Center, based in Saanichton, will host a virtual Diwali cultural show.

The celebrations feature some 60 performances including dancing, singing, plays and even a fashion and jewelry show, said Sridevi Ganti, public relations officer for the cultural centre.

She noted that traditionally, the Victoria Hindu Parishad and Cultural Center hosts Diwali – short of Deepavali meaning “row of lights” – celebrations at the Farquhar Auditorium on the University of Victoria campus with thousands of attendees. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, organizers decided the safest option was to move this year’s festivities online.

READ ALSO: New Canada Post stamp celebrates Diwali, festival of lights

After putting out a request for interested performers, organizers received an “overwhelming response,” Ganti said. Nearly 60 entrants ranging in age from two years old to over 50 – all wanting to perform everything from Bhangra dancing to Bollywood songs – have registered and submitted their videos.

With so many performances lined up, organizers opted to host virtual shows on Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. Each will feature different performances so Ganti recommends tuning in for both.

While the community can’t come together as in a normal year, the festival can still be celebrated by spending time with family, eating sweets and lighting oil lamps – traditionally a clay bowl with a wick, she said.

READ ALSO: Diwali Festival celebrated in B.C. Legislature for first time

The message of Diwali is “good over evil, light over darkness,” and the festival is marked by cleansing the home, being with family and bringing the positive light in to rid the self of negativity, Ganti explained, adding that this year, COVID-19 is among the dark things to be rid of.

She noted that a group of children ages 2 through 5 will be performing a play “depicting the story of the festival” and the king who defeated a demon.

Those interested in tuning in can find the link on the Victoria Hindu Parishad and Cultural Center Facebook page and on at victoriahindutemple.ca.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

CommunityCoronavirusCulture

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

A cyclist navigates the shoulder in traffic along Oak Bay Avenue in Victoria. (John Luton Photo)
Oak Bay council supports Fort Street bike lanes

Victoria bike lanes would connect to Cadboro Bay Road

The Victoria Fire Department extinguished a 15 foot tent fire in the 500-block of Ellice Street Jan. 19. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police investigating after 15-foot flames engulf tent

Flames damage nearby business in 500-block of Ellice Street

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Most Read