Well, I've been saying for years that the Pendle Hill / Parramatta area is fast becoming the Hindu epicentre of Australia, but if there were any lingering doubts to what I've been saying they should have been squashed over the last two weeks.
Firstly, it has been announced that next November a new festival dubbed "Parramasala" is to be held in Parramatta to coincide with Dwali, the Indian Festival of Lights. David Borger, our local MP has said:
“Parramatta is the centre of Sydney’s cultural diversity, including the biggest population of Indian and South Asian communities in Australia, and is the perfect location for this colourful Bollywood style festival.”
For more see the Parramasala video and Parramatta to be transformed by Indian festival, Parramasala.
Secondly, last night Indian superstar A.R. Rahman staged a free outdoor spectacular in Parramatta Park where crowds of up to 80,000 people were expected.
"A.R. Rahman is one of the highest selling composers in the world and won two Academy Awards for composing music for the hit film Slumdog Millionaire. He specifically chose Parramatta as the venue for his only Australian appearance as a way of building community relations and fostering goodwill."
The obvious question I'm struggling with though is, are we, the local Christian communities, up to the task of taking a lead in Hindu-Christian relations in Australia?