Hamilton, October 31, 2023
The Indian community in Hamilton is ready for the onset of the festive season.
Diwali, one of the most prominent festivals, celebrated across India is just around the corner.
With the festivities on everyone’s minds, many ethnic organisations are coming together to celebrate the festival with an immense amount of excitement and enthusiasm.
One such event is the Hamilton Diwali mela, which will be celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, with support from varied organisations like the GOPIO Waikato Incorporated, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan New Zealand and Global Indian Organisation.
About the Mela
Hamilton Diwali Mela, a brainchild of Suman Kapoor, an active member of the Hamilton community is being organised on Sunday, November 5, 2023, from Midday with a number of attractions for all age groups.
With a unique theme titled ‘Sneh Milan’(Meeting with Love and Compassion), the evening would bring together flavours from varied cultures, with the common essence of mutual love, respect and admiration.
Along with traditional food and cultural performances, the Programme will include a fashion walk presented by children, adults, as well as senior members of the community, promoting sustainable fashion. A DJ session will also be scheduled for the guests at the venue.
Several unique performances will be the highlight of the evening, with Ratna Venkat, a prominent performer, presenting a confluence of Māori and Bharatnatyam dance forms.
Many performances from different regions of India will also be presented, including Punjab, Gujarat, and Bengal, showcasing the harmony of cultures and beliefs.
Talking to Indian Newslink, Ms Kapoor said, “We have worked hard to bring such a variation of people, activities and cultures together, and I sincerely hope that we can ensure a memorable evening for our audience, performers as well as members of the community. Hamilton has been home for me and my family for many years and I am honoured to be part of such a vibrant community. It has always been my endeavour to serve the community, and a landmark event like this makes you look back with fond memories and realise how far we have come as a community.”
The evening would begin with some Christian prayers, traditional Indian Bhajans, and a chanting of ‘Hare Krishna’ along with performances by students and youth performers. Some of the young performers will be travelling from other Waikato regions like Raglan, just to entertain the audience.
Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, with a millet cooking session and vegetarian cookery, to promote healthy living and conscious food choices.
The younger audience members will also be welcomed with goodie bags, keeping the tradition of Diwali in mind. A special storytelling session, craft sessions, live music and activities would keep the curious minds engaged and entertained for the evening.
Children will present Sikh martial arts, to celebrate ‘Veer Bal Diwas’ to commemorate the sacrifice made by younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh, who were sealed alive in the wall by the Mughal tyrant and are celebrated for their bravery and extreme sacrifice for the greater good of the society.
Many organisations, such as the Nepali Friendship Society Hamilton, Hamilton Seniors Association, Wahine Charitable Trust, Hamilton Bengali Association and others will come together for a celebration which will bring a culmination of beliefs and cultures under one roof.
Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink Reporter based in Hamilton.