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Mr Sunil Kumar Lal, the Indian ambassador to Brazil, his wife Mrs Gitanjali Lal, the Indian consul general in Sao Paulo, Mrs Abhilasha Joshi, and IASP president Shobhan Saxena with the Indian consulate staff and their families at Diwali 2016
Mr Sunil Kumar Lal, the Indian ambassador to Brazil, his wife Mrs Gitanjali Lal, the Indian consul general in Sao Paulo, Mrs Abhilasha Joshi, and IASP president Shobhan Saxena with the Indian consulate staff and their families at Diwali 2016

The Indian community of Brazil celebrated Diwali in a grand gala on November 5 (Saturday) at Esporte Clube Sirio in Sao Paulo, the financial capital of the biggest South American country.

The biggest gathering of Indians in Brazil, Diwali 2016 – Festival of Lights – was organized by the Indian Association of Sao Paulo (IASP).  More than 550 people attended the event, which is the flagship programme of the Indian Association of Sao Paulo (IASP), the only organisation of Indian nationals and People of Indian Origin (PIO) in Brazil.  

The evening began with a group of women from the Indian community entering the main auditorium with diyas (lights) in their hands
The evening began with a group of women from the Indian community entering the main auditorium with diyas (lights) in their hands
A beautiful rangoli made by members of the community was a big attraction in the reception area of the club
A beautiful rangoli made by members of the community was a big attraction in the reception area of the club

The evening started with cocktails followed by the traditional prayer and lighting of the lamp by the Indian ambassador to Brazil, Mr Sunil Kumar Lal, the Indian consul-general in Sao Paulo, Mrs Abhilasha Joshi. In his welcome speech, IASP president Shobhan Saxena said the event was not just a “celebration of our culture” but also showed the growing influence of the Indian community in Brazil.

The main attractions of the cultural programme were several performances by the children of the Indian community
The main attractions of the cultural programme were several performances by the children of the Indian community

Addressing the gathering, Mr Lal, the Indian ambassador, said in “the Indian culture the guests are akin to god” and the event was a symbol of growing ties between the two countries. Thanking the IASP for organising the event, Mrs Joshi urged the community to participate in the upcoming Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) in Bangalore in January 2017. The cultural programme that followed comprised music, dances and a play by the children of Indian community.

Members of the Indian community entertained the guests with their Bollywood dancing
Members of the Indian community entertained the guests with their Bollywood dancing

The evening ended with a live DJ and dancing that was preceded by a lavish spread of dinner. The event was attended by more than 550 people comprising the members of Indian community, CEOs of top Brazilian companies, officials of the Indian consulate and many other guests.

Namaste India group performing at the stage
Namaste India group performing at the stage
Indian women performing a Bollywood dance sequence
Indian women performing a Bollywood dance sequence

The event started at 6pm and finished at 2am in the morning, after an evening of feasting, music and dance. The event was supported by the Indian Consulate and TCS, Wipro, Olam, Torrent and Sun Pharma.