West Auckland Indians plan Grand Diwali Fare

‘Ram Leela’ Group from Ayodhya due

Mahendra Sharma –west-auckland-plans-mahendra-sharma-web

Waitakere Indian Association (WIA) will celebrate its annual Diwali Mela at a new, convenient and friendly venue this year.

This year’s Diwali will be held on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at Te Pai Netball Courts, located at 31-35 Te Pai Place, Henderson, which is close to the Trusts Stadium.

The WIA Diwali Mela will commence at 11 am and conclude with fireworks at 10 pm.

The origin of Diwali Mela in West Auckland goes back to 2000 when Waitakere Indian Association (WIA) held its first public event at Corban Arts Centre in Henderson.

Since then, the event has been growing from strength to strength to attract more than 10,000 visitors every year.

Bridge of Friendship

WIA Diwali Mela is a highly popular event, focusing on bringing together not only people of Indian origin but also other ethnicities resident in and around Auckland.

Over the years, we have also had the pleasure of welcoming people from other cities in New Zealand. This event is seen as a friendly and meaningful bridge between the Indian Diaspora and rest of Auckland.

One of the highlights of our Diwali festivities is the staging of ‘Ram Leela,’ a tribute to Lord Rama (Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Protector of the Universe), whose return to Ayodhya after vanquishing the demon king Ravana of Sri Lanka and rescuing his wife Sita (who was held captive by Ravana) is celebrated as Diwali. A number of our children would participate in this dance drama, recapitulating the great Epic.

The UP Troupe

This year, we are privileged to bring the Ram Leela group from Ayodhya, located in the North Indian State of Uttar Pradesh to entertain the audience at the Diwali Mela.

This group has performed all over the world and will be appearing at events in Australia before coming to New Zealand.

Thereafter, the group will travel to Fiji for performances.

Apart from ‘Ram Leela,’ WIA Diwali Mela will feature a number of Classical and Hindi film music and dances, food stalls as well as trade stalls.

WIA appreciates the continued support of Henderson-Massey & Whau Local Boards, Radio Tarana, Portage Licensing Trust, Travel Point, Tulip Financial Services and Fresh Choice Glen Eden.

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The following is an extract from an article by former WIA President and currently Executive Committee Member in Indian Newslink, September 15, 2014 issue.

Family Event

This event provides fun for the whole family, with special activities such as Sari Dressing, Bollywood dance classes, Rangoli and children’s amusement area.

The overwhelming support from Indian and wider communities has inspired and motivated WIA to consider ways and means of enhancing the scope and content of the event year after year.

Varied significance

Diwali has great cultural, moral and religious significance to Hindus all over the world. The Festival of Lights is celebrated in a cordial atmosphere embracing Indian culture and heritage. It is the time for happiness, renewing friendship and working towards collective wellness and joy.

This festival is also intended to attract the wider Kiwi communities to participate in the event. While New Zealanders of varied cultural background and ethnicity have always lived and worked together, until a few years ago, there was little opportunity for them to witness and understand each other’s culture and heritage.

Events such as Diwali play an important part in bringing people of different cultures, religions and faiths together, a process that is imperative in today’s world.

Editor’s Note: In South India, Diwali denotes ‘Narakachathurdasi,’ a celebration of lighting lamps at homes and public places, marking the victory of Narakasura, a demon killed by Lord Krishna (a later Avatar of Lord Vishnu). However, in many placed in India, the ‘Return of Rama’ theory is popular.

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What: Diwali Festival

Who: Waitakere Indian Association

Where: Te Pai Netball Courts, 31-35 Te Pai Place,

Henderson, West Auckland

When: Sunday, October 23 from 11 am to 10 pm

Entry: Free for all

Contact: Mahendra Sharma on 027 661 3242

 

Photo Caption:

Ram Leela Group from Ayodhya India to perform at WIA Diwali 2016

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