It was a cultural, visual and awe-inspiring day to remember, as Active India, a free community event dedicated to the Indian Independence Day saw the gathering of five Indian states at the Cosmopolitan Club in Papatoetoe.
Fully funded by the Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board and organised by the New Zealand Chandigarh Club – a social and cultural organisation in New Zealand responsible for promoting India culture and heritage, Independence Day of India was celebrated in mid-August.
The day was filled with an array of colour, cultural performances, quizzes, games, prizes and even a draw based on punctuality!
Local board chair Apulu Reece Autagavaia says the board is proud to support events which brings our Indian community together and enjoy a day of celebrations.
“Over the last few decades Tamaki-Makaurau has become home to an increasing number of ethnicities and cultures making it one of the most diverse cities in the world. About half the population of Papatoetoe is of South Asian ethnicities. We are proud of the contribution of our Indian communities to the wider society.”
The event started with the auspicious Diya lighting (a small oil lamp usually made from clay, symbolically lit during prayers, rituals, and ceremonies), and with everyone saluting and paying tribute to the Nation of India.
Apulu adds, “We enjoy not only diverse culinary options in our shopping areas, but the landscape of Papatoetoe has changed - adorned with beautiful temples and cultural celebrations throughout the year.”
With more than 340 members from across the motu present, they were treated to performances which included the guest item of Laughter Yoga by Botany Ethnic Association folk dances of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Gujrat, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bharatnatyam, a skit prepared by senior citizens and desh bhakti (hindi word for patriotism) songs.
It was a star studded event with a number of key guests including Mukesh Ghiya (Head of Chancery and SS Consul in the office of Indian High Commission Wellington), Bhav Dhillon (Honorary Consultae of India in Auckland), Dr. Jagjit Singh (Honorary Consulate Of Georgia In New Zealand), and H.E. Neeta Bhushan (High Commissioner Indian, India in NZ) in attendance.
One of the highlights of the event was well wished messages from popular Bollywood stars like, Bhumi Panderkar, Prince Kanwaljit and Mukesh Rishi.
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