Posted By

Tags

Manukau Indians celebrate Festival of Lights

The Manukau Indian Association will mark Diwali festival on October 16 at the Telstra Pacific Events Centre, the day of the Semi Finals of the Rugby World Cup 2011.

We pride ourselves of organising a grand Diwali event every year in Manukau, bringing together various communities, providing a platform for our young artistes to perform and showcase their talents.

The Diwali Festival also allows us to work with other organisations.

The event started as a concert few years ago and has grown to become a grand programme of seven to eight hours.

International cuisine, handicrafts and a number of other items come alive at stalls put up by various ethnic community groups.

The cultural programme that forms a part of the Festival has been rated as one of the finest in New Zealand.

As a culturally diverse country, New Zealand celebrates Diwali with enthusiasm and gaiety. It has gained national importance and is celebrated in all major towns as well as in Parliament.

Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, is the most popular of all South Asia Festivals. It is also celebrated by Jains and Sikhs.

Diwali marks the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, although the actual legends that go with the Festival are different in various parts of India.

A recent Times of India summed up the modern meaning of Diwali. It said, “Regardless of the mythological explanation one prefers, what the Festival of Lights really stands for today is a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill and a religiously sanctioned celebration of the simple, and some not so simple, joys of life.”

The name comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Dipavali,’ meaning a row of lights.

Diwali is known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ because houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called ‘Diyas.’

These lamps, traditionally fuelled by mustard oil, are placed in rows in windows, doors and outside buildings.

The lamps are lit to invite Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth into people’s homes. They also celebrate the return of Rama and Sita to the Kingdom of Ayodhya after 14 years in exile.

Fireworks are also a big part of the Diwali celebrations, although in recent years there has been a move against them because of noise, atmospheric pollution and accidental deaths and injuries that they cause.

Like Christmas in the West, Diwali is a time for buying and exchanging gifts.

Traditionally, sweets and dried fruits were gifts to exchange, but the Festival has become a time for serious shopping, leading to anxiety that commercialism is eroding the spiritual aspect of Diwali.

Retailers and businesspersons expect sales to rise substantially in the weeks before the Festival.

Diwali is also a traditional time to redecorate homes and buy new clothes.

Dr Anil Channa is a Member of the Executive Committee and former President of the Manukau Indian Association.

Share this story

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement