Indian Colour Extravaganza

Fashionistas in Strabane are already looking forward to next years Diwali festival.

SECA held a three day Diwali Festival with children from the local schools uniting with SECA’s Indian Community to celebrate The Festival of Lights.

The Alley Theatre and Fountain Street Community Association were the venues for two of the Days, four local schools took part and were given an insight into Diwali, the schools were St. Anne’s PS, Sion Mills PS, Cloughour PS and the Gaelscoil

Organised as part of the local Diwali celebrations this year SECA arranged an Indian Themed fashion show, around forty models took part not all the models were Indian, some were Polish, from local community grouos and local school children.

The large crowd present, which included members of Strabane’s growing multicultural community, members of local community groups and the Council Chairman enjoyed an evening of ecletic live entertainment and Indian cuisine, courtesy of Masala restaurant.

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Chandini Guram and Natasha Sharma performing Traditional Indian and Bollywood dancing.

Compere for the evening, Vijay Elangovan, explained the festival and its global significance. Dr Narenda Babu Koyyalamudi, Chairman of SECA, told those gathered, “I’d like to welcome everyone to our small party here. Tonight we celebrate the multicultural society that we have become. I’d like to thank all who were involved in organising tonight’s event and Strabane Council, who have always been supportive of all projects like this,” he said.

Council Chairman, Jarlath McNulty, added, “This evening aims to promote racial harmony and good relations between local residents and those from other countries. By bringing everyone together we are highlighting the benefits of cultural diversity.

The Indian community have long been resident here and we are delighted to be invited to share this festival with them. Diwali is the most important event in their year and occassions like this greatly help us understand each other’s cultures.”

Dr Narenda Babu Koyyalamudi of SECA and SDC Chairman Jarlath McNulty lighting candles together at the festival.

Both he and Dr Koyyalamudi lit the traditional Diwali lamp. The evening’s entertainment included special performances from the Pop Tap Dance Academy, Bollywood dancer Natasha Sharma and Chandini Guram, who performed a traditional Indian dance. The Artsekta Fusion Band rounded off the night with their unique blend of world music.

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Michael Lafferty, Public Relations Officer for SECA, heralded the evening a great success: “It has been one of the most successful events of our calendar year, well supported by the community groups and our members. I would like to thank the Council, our members, all the performers, the staff of St Patrick’s Hall and the Department of Social Development for their support.