Auckland Malayali Samajam plans Eid Al Fitr

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Venkat Raman
Auckland, May 10, 2021

Malayalam speaking people will be joined by other ethnic communities as Auckland Malayali Samajam celebrates Eid Al Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan this weekend.

Minister for Transport, Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood will be the Chief Guest at the event scheduled to be held on Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 6 pm at Kelston Community Hall, located at 135 Awaroa Road in Sunnyvale, West Auckland.

Time for Celebration

Samajam President Soby Bernard Thomas said that Eid Al Fitr is time for celebration with not only with family and friends but also the community.

“Muslims believe that Ramadan is the month of giving and mercy, and that during this month Almighty Allah blesses the believers with forgiveness and great reward.

Dr Deborah Russell lighting the traditional lamp, watched by Bhav Dhillon and others

“Ramadan gives us a huge opportunity to improve ourselves and gain rewards for our actions. The Holy Month of Ramadan provided an opportunity to stop and contemplate, to look inwards and out and it was a time to set our goals. The Giving of charity also carries much blessing and the rewards giving during the Holy Month and will increase your reward immensely. New Zealand prides itself on good relations between communities and places great value on human rights,” he said.

He said that the Samajam would be conducting Eid Al Fitr for the first time and that the programme will include Mailanji (Henna), music (Sufi and Arabic), Dance (Oppana, Kathak) and Halal food.

Tickets for the event, priced at $10 per person ($5 for members of the Samajam)can be obtained at https://www.aucklandmalayalisamajam.org.nz/events/
Phone: 022-0634080

Rhythm Centre of Dance choreographed a fusion song Malhar Jam for Prachi Purandare, supported by Komal Prasad and Saraswati Semwal

Spirit of Unity and solidarity

Soby said that Auckland Malayali Samajam has been conducting festivals of major faiths in a spirit of oneness and solidarity.

“It was with much excitement and enthusiasm that Malayalis in Auckland gathered on April 10, 2020 under the umbrella of out Samajam to jointly celebrate two important cultural and religious festivals, namely Vishu and Easter. The celebrations were held at Blockhouse bay Community Centre as a Thanksgiving Ceremony, paying tributes to our frontline workers of Covid-19. We acknowledged their hard work and sacrifice to keep the community safe during the pandemic,” he said.

Soby said that members of the community wore a special badge designed to ‘Thank Covid-19 frontline heroes. 

Classical dancers Harsha Prakash and Charu Chutani in traditional Kerala attire

Cultural diversity

“Easter and Vishu festivities are organised by Auckland Malayali Samajam every year and this year the event is marked with an unprecedented turn out from the public. There were more than 350 people in the audience,” he said.

Among the Guests of Honour were Dr Deborah Russell, elected Member of Parliament from New Lynn and Bhav Dhillon, Honorary Consul of India in Auckland Bhav Dhillon.

“Dr Russell spoke of the cultural diversity and richness of the Kerala community and that it was a matter of pride that Ethnic Communities Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan hails from the State of Kerala, one of the most beautiful places in India. Mr Dhillon spoke of the high achievements of Kerala, comparable with other developed countries in the world,” Soby said.

Athulya Mohan presenting a Keerthana to the voice of Devi Shobhana

Samajam Secretary Dr Abin Mathew welcome the gathering while Executive Committee Member Dr Sam Mathai thanked the special guests and the audience.

Among the highlights of the festival was a three-hour cultural programme at which more than 60 artistes performed.

Akshita and Aysha Joby doing a meme on Covid Frontline heroes

Pictures by Jibin John and Alwin Thomas

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