Punjabi Sikh culture is an important part of Coffs Coast’s identity, and a new exhibition opening on April 23 at Culture Hub in Coffs Central provides a window into the Woolgoolga community through their personal stories, objects and photographs.
Early Settlers to Bridal Glamour, is the next community takeover exhibition at Culture Hub, where The Sikh Heritage Museum of Australia are sharing artefacts, interactive displays and insights into how the storylines of local Indian weddings have shifted over time.
The Sikh Heritage Museum of Australia has welcomed visitors to Woolgoolga since 2019 and preserves the traditional and religious life of the local Punjabi Sikh community.
The new exhibition at Culture Hub not only educates the public about local Sikh history, it also immerses audiences into local Indian culture, celebrating stories of marriage and love. Visitors to Culture Hub might feel like they’ve stepped into a Bollywood scene, with colourful draping and a couple’s wedding seat to take selfies.
Photographs of local marriage stories and cultural marriage practices will be on show, including personal stories of how couples met, and a ‘then’ and ‘now’ photo essay.
Working closely with the Sikh Museum, Community coordinator Sheerien Salindera collaborated with Culture Hub’s Ashleigh Frost, Programs Facilitator for Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and Museum. Ashleigh recalls being welcomed into the homes of local couples photographed for the exhibition, gaining insights into their marriages and culture.
“We heard stories of love and stories of the hard-working couples who immigrated here and have made an incredibly successful life for themselves, often with big, beautiful families,” explains Ashleigh.
“There is great pride in their families, whether the next generation followed in their parents’ footsteps, continuing the family business or found their own way.”
“The best part was the warmth and hospitality in each family’s home, as we turned the pages on old photo albums of their wedding day, or saw some incredible cultural objects from India,” adds Ashleigh. “Not to mention eating amazing food including the best Gulab Jamun I’ve ever eaten!”
Alongside the exhibition will be a special program of live music at Culture Hub after dark, spanning Indian classical to Bollywood Groove. On Friday 14 May, Australia’s most dynamic rhythm trio, Circle of Rhythm, will perform their unique sound from Indian instruments. While on Friday 21 May, Indo Jazz Fusion Ensemble will feature the sultry vocals of Sarah Hyland, together with Greg Sheehan, Bobby Singh and local Jazz musos. For more information and tickets please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/east-attic-sounds-tickets-148713334587
Sikh Museum of Australia Cultural Exhibition: From Early Settlers to Bridal Glamour.
FRI 23 APR – SAT 29 MAY AT CULTURE HUB | Level 1 Coffs Central Shopping Centre
Free and All Welcome
Culture Hub: Coffs Harbour Libraries, Museum and Gallery Libraries in association with Coffs Central. Community takeovers are for, about and by the community delivered through targeted invites to groups and individuals, with tailored support from the Culture Hub team.
Gulab Jamun is a traditional rose flavoured sweet