Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, called it “a step in the right direction”.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that awareness about Hinduism thus created by such celebrations would make Australians and visitors more enlightened about world’s oldest and third largest religion.
Rajan Zed urged other establishments in the hospitality sector world over to organize celebrations of Diwali, most popular of Hindu festivals, which falls on November three this year.
Diwali offerings at Accor hotels in Australia reportedly include “stylish arrangements” of rangoli motifs and candles in the lobbies, traditional sweets and savory treats, special breakfast and dinner menus, Indian costume and entertainment.
“Guests at Mercure Sydney will enjoy traditional festive dishes with restaurant staff dressed in festive Hindi attire. High Tea at The Menzies will incorporate Indian sweets; Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour is offering an Indian-style vegetarian menu for the Sunday night, while Novotel Melbourne on Collins will entertain guests with Bollywood movies playing in the bar”, a release states.
“Special food offerings continue in Queensland with Sofitel Gold Coast, Sofitel Brisbane Central, Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort and Mercure Cairns Harbourside all modifying their breakfast or dinner menus to suit the festive theme to tie in with the Diwali festival celebrations”, release adds.
Accor hotels in Australia will provide Indian TV channels and staff have been trained in basic Indian greetings and cultural practices, reports suggest.
According to Zed, Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Hindus worship goddess of good fortune and beauty Lakshmi, god of wisdom and auspiciousness Ganesh, and mountain Goverdhan on this day. Also on this day, coronation of Lord Ram was held, Lord Hanuman was born, Lord Vishnu returned kingdom to monkey king Bali of Kiskindha, Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi married, Lord Krishan killed demon Narakasur, and ancient king Vikramaditya was crowned. On this day of forgiveness, festivities, and friendliness; families and friends get together for worship followed by a sumptuous and elaborate feast. It is also considered a harvest festival.
Hinduism has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.
Accor, headquartered in Paris (France), which claims to be the “world’s leading hotel operator” and whose tagline is “Open New Frontiers in Hospitality”, has about 3,555 hotels with 455,985 rooms in 92 countries. Sebastien Bazin is CEO.