The First Annual Indian Newslink Festivals of South India was a special event.
Held on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Sacred Heart College Auditorium, it brought together, for the first time, five Associations representing five States of South India to present their respective culture, costumes and cuisine.
With more than 150 participants and a hundred men and women working for seven months, the Programme was not only one of a kind but quickly became a topic of discussion at social gathering and social media.
We offer our gratitude to our Sponsors (Manukau Institute of Technology, Barfoot & Thompson, Sheba Soundhar, Essilor New Zealand, Sona Sansaar, Imperial Vaults Limited, Focus Marketing Group, ABC Business Solutions, Guru’s Paneer, 3C Construction, Hotel Saravanaa Bhavan, Radio Tarana and Apna TV.
The décor, replete with floral designs, tapestry and other material was the first point of contact for guests and hence received their first impression. Created by Kavitha Venkat, with the support and guidance of her husband Venkat Subramanian, the decorations, representing Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala effected a unique combination of cultures and emotions.
The Idol of Lord Ganesha with Elephants, Traditional Lamps, and floral designs depicted the importance that flowers play in the lives of South Indians. Kavitha’s expertise was also evident on the stage. As the Members of the Organising Committee thanked Kavitha and Venkat, they also hoped and prayed that their expertise and involvement will be available in the ensuing years.
The culinary art of Chef Thippeswamy and his family was evident in the dishes representing the five South Indian States. While almost all the guests lauded the quality, variety and taste of the food items, a few felt that they were too spicy to be enjoyed. We have conveyed their complaints to the team.
The Organising Committee
The Organising Committee deserves credit for the success of the Programme. Among them are Narender Reddy Patlola (President), Vinod Kumar Erabelly (General Secretary), Kalyan Rao Kasuganti (Immediate Past President) of Telangana Association of New Zealand; Srilatha Magatala (President), Bhavani Shankar Yeluri (General Secretary) of New Zealand Telugu Association; Bala (Venugopal) Beeram, Telugu Community Leader, Jagadishwar Reddy Magatala, Vijay Bhaskar Reddy Kosna, Telugu Community Advisors; Sadasivam Kutty (President), Kathir Sam (Secretary) of Muthamil Sangam; Yeldos Varghese (President), Sunny Mathew (Secretary), Joby George (Treasurer) of Auckland Malayali Samajam, Biju Surendran, Kerala Community Worker; Kumuda Setty (President), Roopa Nagvekar (Secretary), Prakash Biradar (Executive Committee Member) of New Zealand Kannada Koota, Kavitha Venkat (Interior Decorator) Venkat Subramaniam (Advisor), Roji Varghese, Sreekala Srihari (Masters of Ceremonies) and Sheba Soundhar, Ravi Nyayapati and Hemant Parikh representing Indian Newslink.
Tribute to Trilogy of Power
The Festivals of South India began with a performance by Ratna Venkat, a professional dancer who has achieved proficiency in Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Fusion, Folk and many other forms of dance. She presented a dance number paying tribute to three Goddesses- Parvathi (Representing Shakthi or Power), Lakshmi (Wealth and Prosperity) and Saraswathi (Knowledge and Learning).
It was followed by ‘Oyilattam,’ known for its elegance and beauty.
Said to have originated in Madurai and prevalently practised in Kongu Nadu, the dance gradually received popularity in Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli and other parts of Tamil Nadu. Ramayana, Mahabharatam and mythological stories of Lord Murugan act as the main source of this beautiful folk dance form.
Lakshmi Priya Angusamy, Puma Sasha, Raisa Infreda Arokiaraj, Sandhya Sridhar, Asha Amarasingam, Janani Hari and Kaviya Kathiravan, who are students and enthusiasts of ‘Chennai City Gangzta Dance Academy’ presented Oyilattam.
Labour MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan presented her Welcome Address, while National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi expressed words of Gratitude and Reflections. Among the main speakers were Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Labour MP and Chief Government Whip Michael Wood.
Please read various other reports in this Section.