Auckland Diwali losing its relevance

Apurv Shukla

Auckland Diwali 2017 took place at Aotea Square on October 14 and 15, 2017.

Thousands attended this two-day festival, which was set up 15 years ago to showcase Indian culture and traditions to the wider Kiwi society.

Brilliant sunshine and plenty of food stalls serving scrumptious Indian food added to the festivity. The finale of this event was spectacular fireworks display atop the Auckland Town Hall.

Tradition relegated

Going by the sheer number of attendees this Diwali event was a success. But what was obvious is that the purpose of initiating this event in 2002 has lost relevance today. Maybe it is a reflection of modern day society. We seek instant gratification. This can be exemplified by the numerous Bollywood song and dance displays on stage.

The traditional and classical forms of music were relegated to non-descript time slots or performed in a smaller room inside Aotea Square.

Most of the people attending the event were young students.

That could a reason for the good but seemingly endless Bhangra performances on stage.  It takes a lot of hard work and skill to perform on stage, but the moot point here is whether it is proper to have one type of dance overpowering everything else in sight? On the flip side, all performers should realise to alter their acts suitably to keep audiences entertained.

Haphazard Queues

Auckland Diwali 2017 provided plenty of food options but to access them was a mission in itself. Long haphazard queues were seen outside all stalls. They were all lumped together with no space for people to stand and enjoy the food properly.

It is amply clear as the event grows more space needs to be given to these food stalls. Provisions should be made for seating, at least for the elderly people.

If Auckland Diwali 2017 was a film and one went expecting a sensible and intelligent cinema – you ended up watching a commercial film; maybe nonsensical but certainly entertaining to many and surely a box office winner.

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