Balestier Clubs light up for Deepavali

V.K. SANTOSH KUMAR

Balestier clubs Singapore Indian Association (IA) and Ceylon Sports Club (CSC) celebrated Deepavali with gusto on Nov 4 and 5, respectively.

While IA focused on highlighting Indian cultural values, the CSC programme was a mix of Chinese, Malay, Eurasian and Indian songs and dances and a special dinner prepared by chefs from Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong, who was guest-of-honour at the CSC celebrations, said: "Deepavali and other festivals we celebrate together in Singapore are unique to our multiculturalism, adding colours and textures to our society. Where else can you see Chinese dragon dance and silat performance at a Deepavali celebration?

"When we take the time to learn, we can better understand and appreciate one another's culture."

CSC, which held a cricket tournament to commemorate the Festival of Lights, also celebrated the club's contribution to sports.

CSC has an almost century-old history in producing national and international sportsmen and women.

President Anton Ravindran in his speech described sports as a great leveller as it is inclusive and strengthens the social fabric and binds the community together.

At IA, there were thavil nathaswaram, fusion bharatanatyam and music and dance performances. Celebrity emcee Aadhavan Kesavamurthi, popular as a mimicry artist on radio and TV channels in Tamil Nadu, entertained the guests with humour and games. There was also a lucky draw and a best-dressed contest.

"The Aanantha Deepavali Nite is part of a series of events organised by IA to ensure the Indian cultural values and celebrations are continued for future generations," said IA president Tamil Marren.

IA organised a Deepavali Light-up on Oct 1, when for the first time in its 99-year history, the club premises were lit up with streamers, earthen lamps and other colourful decorations. There was also a Deepavali Bazaar on Oct 1 and 2, where 35 stalls offered festive clothes, accessories, jewellery, sweets and gift items.

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