Standfirst: The following article has been edited and rewritten in parts with a Report received from the author for purposes of clarity and safety.
Taupo MP Louise Upston (National) with from left Mayor David Trewavas, Sarah Devi, Council Chief Executive Gareth Green, Kanika Malhotra and Ketaki Palnitkar
The universality of Diwali (or Deepavali) and the spirit in which it is celebrated all over the world by multicultural communities was demonstrated again on November 15, 2020 in Taupo, a town near the centre of Northland in New Zealand.
The event, which included speeches, entertainment and Indian food and Diwali sweets was yet another demonstration of the growing strength of the Indian community in New Zealand and the enthusiasm of New Zealanders to participate and enhance the value of such events.
Member of Parliament elected from Taupo (National Party) Louise Upston, Taupo Mayor David Trewavas and Taupo Council Chief Executive Gareth Green were among the Guests of Honour.
They were received with traditional honours.
Taupo Diwali 2020 hosts: Kavita D’Cruz and Rahul Thour
Amazing local talent
Ms Upston said that she was delighted to be a part of Taupo Diwali organised by the Indian community.
“It was generously hosted and provided an opportunity for members of the Taupō community to learn about the richness of Indian culture, through the ceremony, dance, music and food. The talent of the performers was amazing and I loved watching very young children on stage performing traditional dances. I look forward to Diwali 2021,” she said.
When I moved to Taupo with my husband about a year ago to run a motel, I thought that it would be a good idea to contact owners of businesses of Indian origin to organise a get-together. We held our first meeting on October 14, 2020 and agreed to organise Diwali 2020.
Extoling Lord Ganesha: Bharata Natyam by Niah Ankale
Organisers and Performers
We formed an Organising Committee comprising 12 persons, including Abhinav Batta, Brijesh Patel, Chintu Contractor, Kanika Malhotra, Kavita D’Cruz, Ketki Palnitkar, Palak Nayak, Rahul Thour, Rajeev Chander, Ravi Sappidi, Sarah Devi and Sharan Uppal.
More than 200 men, women and children of various cultures and ethnicities came together to make this event successful.
Ten-year-old Niah Ankale presented a Bharata Natyam item extolling Lord Ganesha, regarded by Hindus as the Remover of All Obstacles.
Divya Soni, a young mother performed ‘Ghommar,’ popular folk dance of Rajasthan.
Among the highlights of the show was ‘Ethnic Fashion Walk’ by the younger members of the community, including a one-year-old child.
Event Organisers Sharan, Rajeev, Ravi Sappidi, Brijesh, Palak, Chintu, Sarah, Kavita, Kanika, Ketki, Abhinav, Rahul
Savio Gomes and Macky Mocosker of Auckland were the DJs.
Among the sponsors of Taupo Diwali 2020 were Four Square, Gables Lakefront Motel, Great Lake Taxis, Greedy Pizza, Hell Taupo, Indian Delights, Incredible India Restaurant, Kanika’s Home Based Education, Krishna Foods & Spices, Mathai Dental, Mulligans Public House, Paetiki Lotto Magazines & Post, Paetiki Pizza House, Piccalo Café, Suncourt Indian, Super Dollars, Taupo Dairy, Taupo Hell Pizza, Taupo Indian Cuisine, The Coffee Club and Zest Café.
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