Indian culture and tradition took another step forward as the Counties Manukau Police marked Diwali at its headquarters in Manukau City on October 19, 2011.
About 100 officers of various ranks and ethnic groups were present at the Whare Wananga Room, where the Festival was held for the first time in the history of the South Auckland Police.
Ranjna Patel, a member of the Counties Manukau South East Asian Advisory Board and President of the Manukau Indian Association explained the meaning and spirit of Diwali and why is marks a new beginning to Hindus around the world and to some the start of a New Year.
The programme included a welcome ceremony by Kaumatua, Bharata Natyam dance by Ratna Venkat and the Bhangra.
Among those present at the event were Inspector Chris de Wattignar, Senior Sergeant and other senior and junior police officers.
Counties Manukau Police Acting Communications Consultant Tony Edmonds writes:
Ratna Venkat of Pakuranga, a graduate in Indian dance, entertained over 100 staff of Counties Manukau Police in October to mark the start of “Diwali”
Diwali is a five-day festival celebrated by one sixth of the World population every year. Its central activity is to light candles as a symbol of the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
Special guests at the lunch were members of Counties Manukau Police Advisory Board for South -East Asian residents, and Kaumatua, Sonny Rauwhero.
Sonny commented that it was his first experience of Indian cultural dance as a live performance.
“I hope we see more of these very special events,” he said.