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Festival of colours in Christchurch

The Christchurch Indian Social and Cultural Club has been organising many events to celebrate the cultural diversity in Canterbury and the Indian cultural integration in New Zealand.

The Holi Carnival of Colours scheduled to be held on Sunday, March 23 will be one such programme. The Holi Festival will commence at 11 am and is expected to conclude by 430 pm at The Pallet Pavilion on Kilmore Street in the Central Business District.

Holi is a traditional Indian festival observed on Full Moon in March.

People ‘decorate’ each other and everyone they see on the streets with coloured powder. It is a day to forgive, forget, reconnect and enjoy with everyone in the community.

The throwing of colors symbolises equality of people. Revelers do not spare anyone including friends, foes, or even strangers.

Morale booster

Indian Festivals like Diwali, Onam and Holi are major attractions in Christchurch and Canterbury, playing a significant role in boosting the morale of Cantabrians who are constantly struck by natural disasters such as earthquake, snow blast and floods, the last of which had its worst rampage in 100 years..

“People are still bogged down with the continuing natural disasters and Holi is about the whole community coming together, putting worries aside and having fun for a day. We want the City to add colours,” Event Managers Sandeep Khanna and Hitesh Sharma told Indian Newslink.

‘All Right?’ is the main sponsor of the event.

Widening gap

“There is a widening gap between those who are recovering well and those who are ‘stuck’ in Canterbury and it is important that we take every opportunity to come together and celebrate as a community. By breaking down barriers and injecting fun and colour into our lives, Holi will definitely provide a wellbeing boost,” Director Sue Turner said.

DJs Areeb and Charlie and the Indian drummers will entertain people throughout the day. The programme will comprise Bollywood performances, including ‘Ras-Leela,’ a re-enactment of the romance between Lord Krishna and his consort Radha. Their story is where the throwing of colours originated.

Traditional games will include tug of war and ‘Matki Phod,’ in which competitors make a human pyramid to reach a clay pot and break it. As well activities for children, people can enjoy traditional Indian cuisine.

In the case of bad weather, the event would be postponed to March 29, with a notification posted on the Holi Festival Facebook Page.

Dr George Abraham is our South Island Correspondent based in Christchurch

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