On Sunday, October 1, 2017 at Trusts Arena, Central Park Drive, Henderson
Waitakere Diwali has become an icon of not only West Auckland but the whole of New Zealand. Among others, it has been continuously featured in the calendar of Auckland for 18 years, commencing in 2000.
And in doing so, unlike other similar organisations, it has always granted opportunities to all its executives to gain leadership positions, and train as leaders.
Unlike some other similar organisations where only rich, influential, professional or businessmen get to lead, Waitakere Indian Association (WIA) is a distinguished entity with a marked difference.
Everybody has equal chance, and this has allowed a humble Mahendra Sharma, to be our President, leading WIA Diwali for the second year.
Other newcomers, Kajal Kumar, as the Master of Ceremonies and Hasmita Singh, WIA Secretary, as Diwali Project Manager, were presented opportunities last year. This passed a clear message that WIA provides equal opportunities to its female members to foster leadership qualities.
Aucklanders are used to participating and enjoying Waitakere Diwali in the huge House of Diwali, the Trusts Arena, to which we return this year from Te Pai Netball Centre where the event was held last year.
Divinity and Dignity
Mahendra Sharma said, “WIA is mindful of the fact that Diwali needs to retain its theme, its respectability, reverence and dignity.”
In following that policy, he said that WIA has special dress codes and other restrictions and check and balances to have a mix of modern culture with tradition to ensure Diwali retains its light of wisdom, divinity and dignity.
“This was reflected in ‘Ram Leela,’ which was performed by artistes from Ayodhya, India, last year. We will have similar attractions this year as well” he said.
The other point he homed in was, “While other events have paid officials, our community workers give their time and expertise freely to the community.”
This referred to Auckland Council and corporate-organised events where those organising are paid officials, while those at WIA are non-paid community volunteers – unsung heroes with a passion for community well-being.
As in the past, guests can expect a galore of sumptuous Indian food stalls, many craft stalls and trade stalls promoting business.
There would be numerous and thrilling stage items, and as usual, the mood would slowly change into more Bollywood and thrilling music as the night progresses, with the public joining in dancing.
No Diwali is complete without spectacular fireworks and this year would be no exception at Waitakere Diwali.
Those interested in having food stalls are to contact: Chandrika Prasad (Chandi) on 021-390798.
Those keen on performing at Waitakere Diwali can download Performer’s Form at http://www.waitakereindianassociation.nz/
Thakur Ranjit Singh has been involved with Waitakere Indian Association since its formative years. He is a Political Observer and Media Commentator. He runs ‘Fiji Pundit,’ his Blog that covers a variety of subjects.
National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (extreme right) with (from right) Mahendra, Sunita and Sanjay Dutt at Waitakere 2016.