The Prime Minister dazzles in Saree and Bindi
The Jacindamania tidal wave swept the Indian business community on Monday night (November 27, 2017), when the world’s youngest female head of government attended the prestigious Tenth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards Ceremony held at Auckland’s SkyCity Convention Centre.
It was her first appearance in an Indian community event after she was sworn-in as the Prime Minister of New Zealand on October 26, 2017.
Indian Bridal look
The 37-year-old turned up immaculately clothed in a golden saree and a red Bindi, which, more than the house-colour of her Labour Party is traditional hue for the forehead.
Ardern’s charming appearance had the Master of Ceremonies Michele A’Court draw specific comments on the leader’s looks.
Even her old Labour Party colleague Auckland Mayor Phil Goff could not resist complimenting “how beautiful” Ardern looked, cautiously stating it was an awkward comment to make about a Prime Minister at a public forum. Of course, his remarks were well-intended, and drew admiration from the one thousand plus packed hall.
Connecting with People
Ardern connection with the crowd was, as always, natural and unassuming – something that resonates with many young leaders around the world. Her down-to-earth recollection of getting advice from Indian Newslink Editor Venkat Raman ‘over a Dosa’ is an example of the type of rapport she has developed with the public, and has seen her surge in popularity compared to her predecessors.
Ardern’s speech was crisp and to-the-point as she identified the potential that lies ahead for New Zealand’s trade with India, well beyond the current $2.2 billion. She reminded the Diaspora on her government’s commitment for realising this potential.
The Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards recognise the contributions of the Indian business community in New Zealand, and Ardern showed whole-hearted appreciation of these efforts, reminding the audience that New Zealand was an economy built on the success of small businesses.
She also heaped well-deserved praise on the efforts of Indian Newslink for the role that the newspaper has been playing for the past 18 years,
Goff delightfully recounted his presence at the Awards function for all ten years of its existence, while thanking the Indian community for being true partners in the progress of the local economy.
Recognition and Applause
The evening came with its usual glamour and magnificence as the Awards celebrated a milestone. It was the tenth edition of the grand event, a testament to the dedication and success of Indian Newslink.
Title sponsors BNZ, along with all other sponsors, deserve recognition for supporting the initiative in its aspirational journey over the last decade.
Indian Newslink Managing Director Jacob Mannothra recollected how the Awards propelled his business to venture into greater heights.
His involvement with Awards started well before he acquired ownership of the newspaper. Venkat Raman talked briefly owing gratitude for one and all, in his typical well-recognised and highly respected humble tone.
Remembrance and gratitude
There were many sombre moments as almost all speakers, including Ardern, paid tribute to the contributions of Raman (Ray) Ranchhod and Wenceslaus Anthony, who passed away on June 6 and July 23, 2017.
The presence of the Leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minister Bill English had the crowd excited, and the applause he received almost threatened the attention that Ardern drew.
In the end, the only reference to Labour or National was in the fact that it was the first Awards in ten years that saw the Chief Guest coming from the Labour party.
- Jacinda Ardern with Stan Balar
- No dearth of selfies when the PM was around
- Bill English was as usual self- humorous and friendly. He is seen here with Erica and Lawrence Pereira, Paramjeet Datt and Raj Charan
(Pictures by Creative Eye Fotographics)