Hindu Maori fusion captures hearts of Rotorua
Friday, 8 October 2010
The Rotorua, NZ public have started recognising the Hindu Deepawali Festival as their own community festival. People from various cultures, nationalities, ethnic groups and faiths participated in this festival. For the first time, Rotorua's Chinese community performed their traditional dances at the festival.
(via Hindu Council of NZ) The focus of Rotorua Deepawali Festival 2010 was youth participation and leadership. This year’s committee had young and upcoming Hindu and Maori leaders. The youngest member of the committee was only 16 years of age.
Hindu Maori fusion at the Deepawali Festival captured the hearts of Rotorua public. From karakia to powhiri, from Haka to carving, from Mehndi Moko workshop to Poi demonstration – all happened at the Rotorua Deepawali Festival on Saturday, 2nd October 2010.
More than 4,000 people from both Rotorua and out of town celebrated this unique smoke-free, alcohol-free and meat-free festival. People came from Auckland, Hamilton, Taupo, Tauranga, Whakatane, Taumarunui and Wellington.
Following the opening ceremony there were various workshops such as health benefits of Indian cooking spices, roti making demonstration, Maori cooking, Poi making, bollywood and belly dancing interactive workshops, and demonstrations of Surya Namaskar for yogathon. All the workshops were very popular. The food stalls were supported by local and out of town Indian restaurants. Many Rotorua public got to experience a variety of Indian vegetarian dishes.
A spectacular Indian cultural show was held at the Energy Events Centre from 6.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. Dr Meeta Patel, Festival Secretary and Central Secretary of Hindu Council of New Zealand, welcomed everyone on behalf of Rotorua Deepawali Festival committee. The cultural show started with a Maori dance performance by Mokoia Intermediate kapa haka group. Natraj School of Dance from Wellington, Anujay School of Dance, Nardhana Vidhyalaya, Padma’s school of classical dance, Indiance dance group and Prabasee Bengalee Association from Auckland, Rotorua Chinese Association, Bellyvegas community dance group and Soul of Punjab dance group from Rotorua performed a variety of classical and folk dances entertaining the audience. Rhythm House from Auckland put on a spectacular fashion parade exhibiting elegant Indian clothing. Ramandeep Kaur sang a melodious song.
After the cultural show, everyone walked in a procession led by fire dancers to the Government Gardens for the concluding fireworks display at 9.30 pm. Fire dances and drum beats by Samblasta group got the people in the procession dancing to the rhythm.
Festivals celebrating Deepawali, or Diwali, are being held in cities all around New Zealand. New Zealanders of Indian origin are joined by all other cultures for the colourful celebrations.