Christchurch, August 31, 2019
Canterbury Indian Tamil Association (CITA) held its first event in Christchurch to mark the 73rd Independence Day of India on Saturday, August 24 at Te Hapua (Halswell Centre).
Following the lighting of the traditional lamp, Association President Vijay Nainamalai welcomed gathering, after which special guests spoke about India’s Independence Day and the significance of starting a Tamil Association in Christchurch.
Among them were the Wellington based Multicultural New Zealand President Pancha Narayanan, Auckland Tamil Association President Vai Ravindran, Christchurch Multicultural Council President Dr Surinder Tandon and this Correspondent (a Justice of the Peace and Community Board member, Christchurch City Council).
Special Guests Shirish Paranjape, Vai Ravindran and Pancha Narayanan lighting the traditional Lamphttps://youtu.be/O7C0YeA9xgY
The evening’s cultural programme included ‘Vande Matharam,’ an invocatory dance performance, Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Semi-Classical, Punjabi Bhangra dance items and vocal music.
Among the highlights was a Tamil folk dance performed by three pairs of dancers.
The Association presented a copy ‘Thirukkural’ translated by Dr M Rajaram to guests.
Association Secretary Sandheep Ananthkumar said that CITA hoped to bring a variety of events to the community.
Mr Nainamalai told Indian Newslink later that the presence of a cross-section of the community was encouraging.
“The success of the event was entirely due to our team of officials, volunteers and members of our communities. We hope to organise more such programmes bringing together not only people from Canterbury region but all over New Zealand,” he said.
“Canterbury Indiya Tamil Sangam (or Canterbury Indian Tamil Association) is a not-for-profit organisation, committed to bring together Tamilians greater Canterbury region. It has been established to protect, promote and celebration Tamil Culture and Tradition,” Mr Nainamalai said.
Shirish Paranjape is our Correspondent based in Christchurch. Pictures supplied by Vijay Nainamalai