A Bollywood-style romance culminates in Australian citizenship

Bollywood performer Prafulla Parida loves the Australian way of life. Photo: pmb photo group Prafulla Parida, Bollywood actor and dancer, who receives his citizenship on Australia Day. Photo: pmb photo group

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Bollywood is big in Australia. But then it’s big everywhere. It is classified as the largest movie industry for number of people employed and number of films produced.

It’s thanks to that popularity that Prafulla​ Parida​ will be one of 3387 people from 108 countries obtaining Australian citizenship at 98 ceremonies on Australia Day in NSW on Tuesday.

He is a respected Bollywood performer, choreographer and teacher and has performed in Bollywood hit movies including Three (Love, Lies & Betrayal), Wanted and Luck by Chance as well as performing with some of the big Bollywood names including Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif and Shahrukh Khan.

Born and raised in India, he came to Australia in 2008 and toured with the show The Merchants of Bollywood, which had a successful run at the State Theatre in Sydney and interstate. The musical was described as an Indian version of the Billy Elliot story. He said he was the first person in his family to move outside his village. He describes it as an “incredible journey”.

He met his future wife, Tanya Provis from Newtown, during that tour. They fell in love (sounds like a Bollywood happy ending) and married in India in 2010, then returned to Australia where they run a successful dance studio and business, Natraj Dance Studio, in Newtown.

He said he had worked in many countries but liked Australia the most.

“It was a big decision to give up my Indian citizenship because I spent all my childhood there. My family in India don’t have passports, they have never travelled anywhere. My mum and dad are both government servants. Maybe when they are retired they will come to visit.”

There is cause for extra celebration. January 26 is also Republic Day in India. It is also Mr Parida’s birthday. 

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