A unique Programme to showcase heritage of five States

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Festivals of South India on September 21, 2019 in Auckland

Venkat Raman

Indian Newslink is proud to present the first-ever ‘Festivals of South India,’ organised by five Associations representing the five States of South India on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Sacred Heart College Auditorium located at 250 West Tamaki Road, Glendowie, Auckland.

The organisations are the oldest serving their communities- they are the New Zealand Kannada Koota, which marked its 25th Anniversary in April, New Zealand Telugu Association (21 years), Auckland Malayali Samajam (20 years), Muthamil Sangam (19 years) and the New Zealand Telangana Association (Four years), which was formed about a year after the State was formed.

The Programme, showcasing the Culture, Cuisine and Costumes of the five States, namely Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, will begin at 630 pm and will include dinner incorporating the cuisine of these States.

How it began

It was during an informal meeting in January to discuss the Sixth Annual Indian Newslink Sports, Community, Arts & Culture Awards 2019 that Telangana Association President Narender Reddy Patlola suggested a ‘South Indian Festival,’ to celebrate the cultural heritage of South India. The idea quickly gained the acceptance of the President of Telangana Association of New Zealand Srilatha Magatala and soon thereafter, with the approval of the Executive Committees of the five associations, an Organising Committee was established and its first meeting was held on Tuesday, February 19, 2019.

As well as the Presidents and General Secretaries of the Associations, the Organising Committee comprises leaders of the five communities and well-wishers of Indian Newslink.

The Organising Committee

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 Advisor; Kumuda Setty (President), Roopa Nagvekar (Secretary), Prakash Biradar (Executive Committee Member) of New Zealand Kannada Koota, Kavitha Venkat (Interior Decorator) Venkat Subramaniam (Advisor), Sheba Soundhar, Ravi Nyayapati, Hemant Parikh and Venkat Raman representing Indian Newslink.

Details of the Programme will appear on the dedicated website of the ‘Festivals of South India,’ Social Media and the three websites of Indian Newslink , Facebook and Twitter.

Combining Community Strength

While the Culture, Cuisine and Costumes of the five States differ (in fact, they vary between regions within each State), there are several commonalities that bespeak unity that is indeed characteristic of India as a country. The attributes include traditional music, dance and drama, although each State has its own variations. Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam are common to all the five States, which also share the culinary art.

In the modern context, for a length of time (until perhaps the 1970s), the city of Madras (now Chennai) was the base for films made in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tulu, Konkani and other languages spoken in the region.

Topography and History

The five States of South India plus the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and the State of Puducherry occupy 19% of India’s area (635,780 Sq kms or 245,480 square miles). Covering the Southern part of the peninsular Deccan Plateau, South India is bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the East, the Arabian Sea in the West and the Indian Ocean in the South.

The geography of the region is diverse with two mountain ranges–the Western and Eastern

Ghats, bordering the plateau heartland.

Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Periyar and Vaigai rivers are important non-perennial sources of water. The Capital Cities are Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Bengaluru or Bangalore (Karnataka), Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum (Kerala), Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and Hyderabad (Telangana). Among the major cities in these States are Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, Mysore, Hubli-Dharwar, Belgaum, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Kochi and Kozhikode, Warangal, Khammam, Nalgonda.

A majority of the people in South India speak one of the four major Dravidian languages: Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.

Human Development Index is high and the economy has undergone growth at a faster rate than most northern states. Literacy rates in the Southern States are higher than the national average with approximately 80% of the population capable of reading and writing. The fertility rate in South India is 1.9, the lowest of all regions in India.


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