Leaders praise South Indian communities as partners in progress

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Second Annual Indian Newslink Festivals of South India attracts multiple communities

Students of Anuradha’s School of Indian Dances presenting ‘Chaturbhandi’ incorporating five dance styles of South India

Venkat Raman
Auckland, June 1, 2022

South India’s rich culture and heritage and the contributions of the people of the five states were praised by leaders and dignitaries at the Second Annual Indian Newslink Festivals of South India held on Monday, May 23, 2022, at Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland Central.

Among them were India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Muktesh Pardeshi, Transport, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Labour MP (Upper Harbour) and Chairman Labour Party Ethnic Caucus Vanushi Walters, National List MPs Melissa Lee and Paul Goldsmith and ACT Party Leader and MP (Epsom) David Seymour.

“From ancient times, the region (which comprises Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala) is known for its rich natural resources, temples and other places of worship and exquisite food. People from South India are today among the top civil, electrical and mechanical engineers, doctors and IT professionals. Many of them are known for their contributions to science and technology. Like their compatriots from other parts of India, they have been partners in the progress and development of New Zealand,” they said.

Federation of South Indian Associations

Among the highlights of the evening was the official launch of the Federation of South Indian Associations New Zealand (FSIANZ) and the recognition of its five-member organisations representing each of the five states of South India.

They are Mana Andhra Telugu Association New Zealand (MATA NZ), Auckland Tamil Association (ATA), Telangana Association of New Zealand (TANZ), Auckland Malayali Samajam (AMS) and New Zealand Kannada Koota (NZKK). These are represented by the respective Presidents who hold various offices in the Federation. They are Dr Reginald Samuel, President (MATA), Vai Ravindran, Vice President (AIA), Narendra Reddy Patlola, General Secretary (TANZ), Soby Bernard Thomas, Joint Secretary (AMS) and Vishu Lokapal, Treasurer (NZKK).

They were introduced to the audience and presented with a commemorative trophy.

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. In the five States, there is a beautiful gentle pace of life with some wonderful beach attractions.

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.

Artistes of Rhythm Dance Academy mark New Year festivities of the five South Indian States

Celebration of Culture

The South Indian culture is celebrated in the elaborate dance forms of South India, including Bharata Natyam, Koodiyattam, Thirayattam, Oyilattam, Karakattam, Kuchipudi, Mohini Attam, Kathakali, Oppana, Kerala Natanam, Ottan Thullal, Yaksha Ghana, Theyyam and Bhuta Kola, to mention a few.

These tenets bring to life the philosophy of Natyashastra, ‘Angikam Bhuvanam Yasya’ (The body is your world). This is elaborated in the Araimandi posture, wherein the performer assumes a half-sitting position with the knees turned sideways, with a very erect posture.

In this fundamental posture of the Bharata Natyam dance, the distance between the head and the navel becomes equal to that between the earth and the navel. Similarly, the distance between the outstretched right arm to the outstretched left arm becomes equal to the distance between the head and the feet, thus representing the ‘Natya Purusha,’ the embodiment of life and creation.

Most of these were showcased at the Second Annual Indian Newslink Festivals of South India. The first two cultural items- ‘Chaturbhandi,’ incorporating the classical dances of the five states by the students of Anuradha School of Indian Dances (choreographed and directed by Anuradha Ramkumar), ‘Dawn of a New Era,’ by Rhythm Dance Academy (choreographed and directed by Aishwarya Koka and Bhargavi Matta), a folk dance celebrating the New Year festivals of South India. Another detailed report with more pictures will appear soon.

(Pictures for Indian Newslink by Narendra Bedekar, Creative Eye Fotographics)

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