May 10, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Rotorua Deepawali Festival, 2 October 2010

3 min read

Rotorua Deepawali Festival 2010 will be celebrated on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre. Entry to the festival is free. Deepawali (Festival of Lights) is a well known Hindu festival celebrated all over the world. Last year, more than 3000 people from both Rotorua and out of town came to participate, celebrate, and enjoy this unique smoke-free, alcohol-free and meat-free family event. reported recently about the Matariki celebrations held at Hoani Waititi Marae in collaboration with the Indian Community and it would be great to see Maori involved in this important Hindu festival.

A number of Maori cultural traditions such as karakia, powhiri, kapa haka will be performed during the festival. Last year festival initiated an important milestone for Hindu-Maori relations (whakawhanaungatanga). The respect and relations that the Hindu Council of New Zealand had built over the years have brought Hindu community closer to the Maori community.

We welcome everyone to celebrate this unique cultural tradition. There will be spectacular Fireworks at the end of this festival said Mr Sailesh Patel, Chairperson of the Festival Organising Committee.

Transformation from Hindu festival to Rotorua community festival is already happening, as majority of available tickets have been reserved by Rotorua public from non-Indian communities.

This years festival will be bigger, better and brighter said Dr Guna Magesan, Festival Coordinator of the Rotorua Deepawali Festival 2010.
It is really heart-warming to see people from various cultures, nationalities, ethnic groups, faiths, and belonging to various organisations already booking tickets for the festival.

Our vision is to transform this Hindu festival of lights into Rotorua community Festival by organising this event annually. It is our endeavour to share our cultural tradition, to bring up youth leadership in our community, to help boost the local economy by inviting out-of-town visitors, and to unite various groups to work together to enhance our shared cultural heritage.

The focus of this year will be Youth participation and leadership. We invite youth from both Hindu and non-Hindu communities to take part and promote this festival Dr. Magesan added. Along with youth, we will also have members of Maori community in the Deepawali organising committee.

The event will start around 10.00 am with an inauguration ceremony, followed by Indian art exhibitions and workshops on Rangoli (ancient Indian art), Mehndi decorating (temporary tattoo), Indian cooking demonstration, Saree tying, and food-stalls. A spectacular Indian cultural show with various classical and folk dances of India will be performed by artists in the evening. This will be followed by Fireworks for the public.

Some key festival organisers of other cities have shown interest in participating and observing the uniqueness of this festival and see how this could be implemented in their respective cities.

As part of our regular learning and understanding of Maori culture, there will be a special Powhiri at Apumoana Marae for out of town visitors on the same festival day.

We look forward to seeing your family and friends at the Rotorua Deepawali Festival 2010 on Saturday, 2 October 2010 at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

Book your FREE tickets to the evening cultural show by sending an email to [email protected] as soon as possible.

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