“I’m not surprised that it (LUMINOUS) is one of Queensland’s most iconic annual events. It’s a feast to the eyes, as it’s quite spectacular!” said Mujib Abid, president of the Queensland Afghan Community Association (QACA).

The QACA community took part in the LUMINOUS Lantern Parade for the first time in 2023, and Mujib said there was ‘a great deal of enthusiasm [in the community] about it.’

“We are obviously very proud of our culture and our heritage. We do believe greatly in the value of LUMINOUS in highlighting our culture, our language, our heritage, our traditional dresses represented on such a grand stage at the heart of the city, with thousands of spectators,” he added.

But it is the undeniable authenticity of inclusion and welcome that truly inspired the community to step beyond the spectator sidelines and into the LUMINOUS spotlight.

“This is not just a hot take on the matter. There is literal representation of all these different ethnic and linguistic groups. They’re embodying this message. And I think that’s quite profound.”