Auckland, May 3, 2022
The Second Annual Indian Newslink Festivals of South India, held under the auspices of the Wellington-based Indian High Commission and the recently-formed Federation of South Indian Associations New Zealand, with the support of many other sponsors, held at Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland Central was an event to remember.
More than 550 men and women representing a cross-section of the resident communities beheld the richness of a region – its culture, colour, costumes and cuisine and were awed by the variety.
About 200 people were involved in putting together the annual feature this year, of who, about 125 were performers.
Unique aspects of South India
In addition, their parents, husbands, brothers, sisters and children were all a part of the Festivals, adding to the value of belonging to one of the most vibrant parts of the world.
Our earlier story (featured on the front page of this issue) highlighted a few aspects of the Second Edition of the Festivals of South India, and we are happy to provide an extensive report with more pictures in this two-page Special.
There are several factors like South Indian food, classical music & dance, Kalarippayattu (ancient martial arts), and Ayurveda which work as a highlight for this region. Overall, this part of India comprises amazing wildlife, forested valleys, mountains, and mind-blowing historical architecture. With the range of Hindu pilgrims, you can witness the point of Land’s End during your visit to Kanyakumari.
Tribute to Gurus and Performers
Chenda Melam, in the true Kerala tradition, was performed by Rhythm 345, an Auckland based Malayali group. The men and one-woman band presented a ‘welcome item,’ that reverberated the corridors of Mahatma Gandhi Centre, setting the tone for the evening.
Karthick RC and Sreekala Srihari, our main Masters of Ceremonies explained the significance of the event with an outline of the natural bounty of South India and introduced Anuradha’s School of Indian Dances, arguably one of the best in the world.
Ms Ramkumar had choreographed an item that combined Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi and Mohini Attam that symbolises the cultural contribution of the five South Indian States. Fifteen students of her School performed a medley of Carnatic music bringing meaning and energy to the evening. They were followed by the students of Rhythm Dance Academy, who presented folk dances of the five states in a number that ushered in the New Year festivities. Called, ‘The Dawn of a New Era,’ it brought forth the colour and verve of the performers.