New Zealand has been the home for Indians since the late 19th century with the arrival of the early settlers from Gujarat and Punjab and over the years, the country has witnessed tens of thousands of people of Indian origin relocating to this country as immigrants, expatriates and students.
While the initial reaction of Indians arriving from India has always been one of amazement taking in the country’s breathtaking beauty with its clean and green environment, they soon settle themselves to a life of fulfilment, pursuing their interests.
New Zealand and its people amuse migrants from India and other parts of the world. They try to integrate themselves into the mainstream of the social fabric but seek with equal enthusiasm an identity within their ethnic groups.
Cultural programmes including classical music, dance and drama have helped to highlight the rich cultural heritage of India, even as the country’s culinary delicacies have whetted the appetite of a growing number of European, Maori and Pacific Islander population in the country.
And religious festivals enhance human understanding.
While Muslim observances including Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha and Christian festivities such as Christmas and Easter are not restricted to the Indian community, festivals of the Hindu, Punjabi and Farsi communities are of Indian origin. And the Festival of Lights has a unique status among them.
Diwali brings to the fore the colourful culture and history that India holds with pride and it is heartening to see the Indian community preserving its traditional and social values.
The Festival of Lights reminds us of the presence of a vibrant community which contributes to the progress and development of New Zealand.
Diwali is a celebration of light, a light that represents many things: the triumph of light over darkness, goodness over evil and hope for the future. In short, Diwali is about enlightenment.
As smaller ethnic communities have developed in New Zealand, they have contributed to the increasingly diverse and varied society in which we live. None more than the Indian community, which has built a reputation for hard work and strong family values.
Indian Newslink belongs to a family of readers who represent every facet of human faith and disposition, some of them even transcending the borders of religion, just as they do with language and nationality.
It is therefore natural for us to commemorate every major event on the social and religious calendar of the community of people with equal zest and sincerity.
For, we are in partnership with people and partake in their vicissitudes and joy.
Diwali is an occasion in which we rejoice with our men, women and children who celebrate the festival in their homes with men, women and children who do not celebrate the festival in their homes.
That is the spirit of Festival of Lights.
It belongs to all.
Just like the rays of the Sun and lights of the stars that shine from above.
We hope you would enjoy reading the Diwali Special that we have put together for you in this issue.