Deepavali is one of the main festivals for the Marwari community in Singapore, and they annually celebrate it with a ball, highlighting their heritage and culture.
The flagship event of the Marwari Mitra Mandal (MMM) gives an opportunity for people hailing from the Marwar region in western India to meet and enjoy an evening of music and dance.
This year, the ball was held at the Ritz Carlton Millenia on Nov 9 with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah as the guest of honour.
The 450 guests were also treated to a fusion of Bollywood, Rajasthani and Sufi songs by the Swaraag band from Rajasthan.
Usually, MMM members perform on stage during the ball. This year, the management committee decided to fly in the band from India as they wanted all the members to sit back, relax and enjoy the five-hour event.
“The band appealed to us because they play music that is both traditional and modern, and liked by both the old and the young,” said MMM’s president Naveen Gadia. “They have done more than a hundred live performances.
“Every member of my team worked tirelessly to produce a wonderful evening. The minister’s presence was a morale booster for us and added to our spirits. Friends from other Indian organisations and community centres also joined in the celebrations.”
This year, MMM organised several activities to cater to the requirements and interests of its members, all in accordance with the Marwari culture.
The Holi festival was celebrated along with the Gujarati, Sindhi and Maharashtra associations with support from Katong CC.
The MMM, which recently launched a fresh and vibrant website, aims to increase its membership base from the current 360 families.
It also plans to get the younger generation more involved in its social and cultural activities.
V.K. Santosh Kumar