New Zealand is built on its diversity, and we honour the symbols and traditions of Kiwis who have made our country what it is today.
Kiwi Indians are an important part of our social and cultural fabric, and Diwali is a time to celebrate community, family, and hope for the future.
“That is why we must celebrate Diwali each year and recognise its significance,” Waitakere Indian Association (WIA) President Mahendra Sharma said.
Diwali represents a time of year when Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the world celebrate important,time-honoured festivals.
For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year, and it symbolises the victory of knowledge over ignorance and good over evil.
Hindus celebrate this triumph by lighting small earthen lamps around their homes and praying for health, knowledge, peace, and prosperity in the coming year.
WIA was the first Indian community organisation to celebrate Diwali with in public in 2000.
From a small number of hundreds, it has grown to attract more than 10,000 people from every walk of life, religion and ethnicity to attend this much-loved event, which is in its 18th year of celebration with the community.
This year, the event is being celebrated on Sunday,October28 at The Trusts Arena, Central Park Drive, Henderson.
Besides food, classical and Bollywood dances and spectacular fireworks at the conclusion of the event,there will be a display of ‘Ram Leela.’
Waitakere Diwali will commence at 1030am with Pooja.
Over the years,WIA has played an important role in serving the community in West Auckland and advocating issues relating to the Indian Diaspora.
WIA recognises that in a multicultural Auckland, there is multinationalism in the Indian Diaspora too. The Indian Diaspora in the West not only represents Indian and Fiji-born residents but also from other parts of the world including Africa, America, Europe.
The Association has also reached out to the local communities when it comes to the safety of our community or advocating issues pertaining to religious last rites.
WIA also supports the Waitakere Hindi School,one of New Zealand’s largest Hindi-teaching and learning institution.
Time to give and share
While the reasons for its commemoration are many, Diwali is a time for ’Dana’ (charitable giving) and ’Seva’ (selfless service).
The alleviation of tangible forms of suffering such as hunger, disease, and poverty, is an essential component of the Hindu tradition.
Service is Worship, no less than performing a Pooja or practicing meditation or studying scripture.
In the spirit of Diwali,WIA urges you to donate your time and resources for the upliftment of those in need. Please remember to support your favourite charities this Diwali through both ’Dana’ and ’Seva.’
“Give. Give with faith. Do not give without faith. Give with sensitivity. Give with a feeling of abundance. Give with right understanding”-Taittiriya Upanishad.
For more information, you can connect with Waitakere Indian Association via Facebook /waitakereindianassociation
About Waitakere Indian Association
(From WIA Website)
WIA was formed in 2000 by a concerned and dedicated group of Waitakere Residents after receiving requests from members of the Indian community.
In a fast growing city, we are experiencing an influx of new residents and immigrants of Indian origin and to cater for their ethnic needs of culture, language and values, WIA has been instrumental in providing this platform for the Indian community.
WIA has been and is working with the City Council and other NGO agencies in promoting events that allow the Indian community to share its culture and traditions with the rest the community in Waitakere City .
WIA is a duly incorporated organisation with a Constitution that allows for proper management as a Trust. It is a parent body for Indians in Waitakere City and the membership comprises of individual, family and group membership.
Sunil Kaushal is Vice-President of Waitakere Indian Association.
- WIA President Mahendra Sharma speaking at Waitakere Diwali 2017
- Young dancers at Waitakere Diwali