By: Pramod Thomas
THE Welsh government has hosted Digital Diwali celebrations in collaboration with the Indian Consulate in Wales which was viewed by thousands online.
The Senedd has created an online forum to share events and activities across the week to mark the Hindu festival of lights as it had become a popular event over the past few years for all Welsh people.
According to a statement, the ‘virtual’ festival was free to attend and ran for five days.
The new Indian high commissioner Gaitri Issar Kumar, the first minister of Wales Mark Drakeford, Indian honorary consul for Wales Raj Aggarwal and Indian cricket coach Ravi Shastri have delivered online messages as part of the celebrations.
The festival included online seminars and activities on trade, inward investment, export, education, culture, and Indian community in Wales. There were dance performances and ‘cook-a-long’ demonstrations.
Mark Drakeford said: “Diwali is such an incredible celebration in Wales, it’s been getting more and more popular over the past few years and I had a great experience at the event in Cardiff last year.
“Clearly we could not meet in public this year but the Welsh government made great efforts to make sure that people could join online to celebrate this amazing festival, and also to celebrate the amazing contribution that the Indian diaspora make to Wales.”
Raj Aggarwal said: “It was a wonderful event, we had to be creative, but we really brought people together online at this difficult time. We would like to thank the first minister and the Welsh government for making this Digital Diwali possible so that we were able to share this important festival with thousands of people across Wales and the world.”
Students at the multi-cultural Fitzalan high school in Cardiff were filmed taking part in Diwali celebrations.
It is estimated that there are at least 20,000 people or Indian descent living in Wales and in the past few years there were major celebrations of Diwali in Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, and north Wales.
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