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Parliament sparkles with Diwali colours

The plurality of New Zealand society and the patronage extended by the Government and lawmakers were demonstrated yet again as about 200 people gathered at the Executive Wing of Parliament in Wellington on November 6 to mark Diwali.

Among them were Prime Minister John Key, Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins, Ministers, Parliamentarians, community leaders and performing artistes.

Mr Key paid tributes to the members of the Indian community and said that their significant contributions to the progress of the country over several decades have always been recognised and applauded.

“Diwali is a happy occasion that brings us all together,” he said.

Ms Collins said that the Indian community in New Zealand celebrates Diwali as the most important festival of the year.

“It is a time for us to come together with our families and communities, reflect on our journeys and celebrate our successes. It is also an opportunity for New Zealand’s Indian community to celebrate their heritage and showcase their culture’s fantastic colour, energies and stories,” she said.

Understanding cultures

Ms Collins encouraged all New Zealanders to embrace opportunities such as Diwali and participate in the festivities.

“All of us should enjoy and understand other cultures and traditions,” she said.

She also acknowledged the services of Mervin Singham during his tenure as the Director of Ethnic Affairs and wished him well in his new role as a Deputy Chief Executive within the Department of internal Affairs.

Earlier, Mr Key lit the traditional Lamp with Ms Collins and New Zealand Indian Central Association President Harshad Patel.

National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi presented Special New Zealand Post Diwali Stamps to Mr Key and Ms Collins to mark the occasion.

Among the other highlights of the evening were a spectacular display of Rangoli, a Kuchipudi fusion dance number by Ratna Venkat and music performance by Wellington based Group, ‘Idhayam.’

Photo :

1. John Key, Judith Collins and Harshad Patel with a young participant

2. Ratna Venkat performing a Kuchipudi fusion dance

3. Performance by Wellington based ‘Idhayam’ Group

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