Waitakere Diwali celebrates Love, Service and Hope

Sunil Kaushal

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 recognize its significance,” Waitakere Indian Association (WIA) President Mahendra Sharma said.

Symbolic Festival

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 public in 2000. From a small number of hundreds, it has grown to over 10,000 people from every walk of life, religion and ethnicity attending this much-loved event, which is in its 17th year celebration with the community.

This year the event is being celebrated on October 1, 2017 at The Trusts Arena, Central Park Drive, Henderson. Besides the food, classical and Bollywood dances and spectacular Fireworks to finish the show, there will also be a display of Ram Leela.

Community Service

Over the years, WIA has played an important role in serving the community in West Auckland and advocating issues relating to the Indian Diaspora.

The Association recognises that in multicultural Auckland, there is multinationalism in the Indian Diaspora.

The Indian Diaspora in the West not only represents Indian and Fijian born residents but also from other parts of the world like Africa, America, Europe.

WIA has reached out to the local communities when it comes to the safety of our community or advocating issues pertaining to religious last rites.

The Association supports Waitakere Hindi School, the largest Hindi School in New Zealand.

Festival Supporters

This year’s event is being supported by Best Pacific Institute of Education, Radio Tarana, Indian Newslink, Tulip Financial Services, RVS Mitsubishi Electric, Henderson Massey Local Board, The Trusts Community Foundation, The Trust Arena, Ranis Mandap.

While the reasons for what it commemorates, 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 puja 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.  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

Sunil Kaushal is Vice-President of Waitakere Indian Association.

  1. Young dancers at WIA Diwali (File Photo)
  2. Youngsters enact Ramayan at WIA Diwali (File Photo)

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