Nov 05 2013

Council leader joins in Harrow’s sparkling week of Diwali celebrations

susan_hall_leaderDIWALI, the traditional Hindu festival of lights, has been celebrated across Harrow in glittering style with Council leader Susan Hall leading the authority’s part in the event.

Cllr Hall was a guest for lunch at the Indian Association of Harrow where she took part in aartia traditional act of worship in which lights are offered to deities. The Council leader played a part as decorative candles were placed in ornate flower baskets at the celebration.

On Friday the town centre took centre stage as Cllr Hall switched on a dove of peace, made up of 2,500 lights, which stands by Katie’s statue. The 3m by 3m bird, built around an aluminium structure, floats 4.5 metres above the pavement and was made by Harrow-based Saimol Trading.

On Sunday, Cllr Hall and the Mayor Harrow, Cllr Nana Asante, were guests at the Hare Krishna temple in Watford for further Diwali celebrations.

hall_diwali_1The five-day festival is one of the key events for millions of Hindus around the world. Lights and fireworks celebrate the victory of good over evil and families gather to carry out traditional tasks, for example cleaning the house in honour of the goddess Lakshmi.

hall_diwali_2Cllr Hall said: “We are a borough proud of its diversity, and Diwali has again been a chance to see how much Asian culture is now part of Harrow’s tapestry. This is a festival which stresses family values and community, and these are beliefs which chime with our determination to create a cleaner, safer and fairer Harrow. I trust everyone had a great Diwali and there is plenty more time to see the dove of peace in the town centre until the New Year.”


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  1. Cllr Krishna James

    Can someone explain to me when the Dove of peace got connected to Diwali, I know we Hindus are a peaceful lot as statistics of prison ethnic/religious breakdown indicate. I cant recall having seen the dove being part of Diwali celebrations in many years I have observed Diwali in Africa, India and Gt Britain. Do all the communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhits have to be made to adopt a new symbol just because they do not complain. Susan can you explain.

    Cllr Krishna James

  2. All things Good

    My goodness Cllr James….. all you appear to do is moan at every given opportunity. I was brought up to believe if you have nothing good to say, do not say anything at all!

  3. Susan Hall

    So sorry Krishna, certainly did not intend to offend anyone. The Dove is supposed to symbolise peace and harmony which is something we all want amongst residents and visitors in our wonderful diverse borough.

  4. Harrow Dude

    From henceforth it shall be know as the Diwali Dove and I now own the copyright. Peace…

  5. Cllr Krishna James

    All things Good, it is not moaning just pointing out that the diversity needs to be representative within the council at all levels this lapse appears as a symbol of lack of representation. I am sure Portfolio Holder for community and culture Cllr Manji Kara would have certainly pointed out the correct symbol. The Clue is in the names DIWALI. Let me enlighten you Diwa means a lamp and Diwali means a row of lamps. When Ram the God/ prince returned home with his wife Sita and brother Laxman following 14 years of exile in the forest the kingdom was lit up with lamp lights, traditionally earthenware pots with cotton wool wicks, dipped in ghee (clarified Butter) and lit. The Lit lamp is very important to people who celebrate Diwali the whole essence of Diwali is Light removing the Darkness. The darkness of the mind in particular. May I also remind you All things Good that the whole point in me being an elected person is that I speak up and represent the people who may not necessarily speak up for themselves. Please don’t get all pompous, anyone with any pride about their roots and heritage have a right to point out when misrepresentation may have occured. Susan I know it is a steep learning curve for harrow council. I have not been offended but as someone who happens have had the great opportunity to do a Visual Theories degree at University of E. London as a mature student, helped by Harrow Education some 15 years ago and as I enjoy the visual arts and having done some photographic projects in harrow I would be failing in my duty if I did not point out this representation as not being right. Harrow Dude Diwali Dove sounds great and certainly copyright it! I’m not sure it will catch on……just thought this is keeping up with the Harrow tradition, keeping away the temple that is in Neasden, we have a golf club and entertainment center in Northwick grounds instead and Brent has a prestigious purpose built temple, no they have two! I remember a strong campaign in Harrow papers to stop it being built and supported by lots of politicians. In order promote harmony amongst residents and visitors perhaps we need to promote equality amongst all communities.

    Cllr Krishna James

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