Namaste Wellington exhibits Indian culture

The highly anticipated Namaste Wellington Festival 2022 kicked off at the Wellington Indian Cultural Center in Kilbirnie on October 8. The event coincided with Diwali, the festival of lights, without the fireworks.

Kiwi Indians from the Greater Wellington area crowded the stalls set up on the premises, offering a range of goods and services. These included Indian jewelry, clothing, handbags, yoga books, photo frames, ethnic cuisine, and more.

New Zealand Police have set up a stand to raise awareness of their special recruitment campaign for the Wellington region.

Event organizer Manisha Morar manned a stall selling women’s clothing and accessories from the Indian state of Rajasthan.

There was also a health and wellness booth run by the health division of the Wellington Indian Association (WIA).

The face painting stall was a big draw with children, queuing up to have their faces painted by Neha, like animals. Children also flocked to a booth with the word REACT written on the wall, where they were guided through the art of making paper lanterns.

Dunedin-based author Jacqueline Leckie has signed copies of her book Invisible, which chronicled the hardships faced by early Indian settlers in New Zealand, including racial discrimination.

Welcoming the audience and dignitaries seated on the auditorium stage, WIA President Deepak Bhana said Diwali marked the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over evil. ignoring.

He then invited the special guests to address the assembly.

Durga Dass, second secretary of the Indian High Commission, said culture was a binding force and the world was one big family. Referring to Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s visit to New Zealand, Dass said “something good is happening between India and New Zealand”.

National Party Member of Parliament Chris Bishop hailed Wellingtonians of all kinds, “whether you are European, Maori or of different ethnic backgrounds”, for coming together every year to celebrate Diwali.

Next, Rachel Qi, President of the Wellington Multicultural Council, recognized WIA’s contribution to making Wellington a cosmopolitan, diverse and multicultural society.

On behalf of the New Zealand Police, Liaison Officer John Zhou said the police were happy to serve the Wellington community, of which ethnic Indians formed a large part.

Varied entertainment followed, which featured a mixture of classical and folk dances, as well as other elements.

The crowd savored the delicacies served from the food stalls which covered the gamut of Indian cuisine.

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