Internationally renowned artists from Malaysia will be performing at the Rotorua Deepawali Festival 2011 at the Convention Centre this Saturday, October 1.
The festival will be inaugurated by Superintendent Wallace Haumaha, General Manager Maori Pacific and Ethnic Services, Police National Headquarters.
Samuel J Das (sitar) and Prakash Kandasamy (tabla) from Malaysia were originally invited by Multicultural Council of Wellington to perform at their festival in Wellington on 17 September 2011. This was in conjunction with ongoing world cup.
Since their arrival, these artists have performed in a number of concerts including the NZ Parliament Diwali celebration hosted by the Minister for Ethnic Affairs.
Wellington Mutamizh Sangam, a supporting organisation of Rotorua Deepawali Festival, is organising their trip to Rotorua and the artists are set to entertain the Rotorua audience on Saturday.
Hindu Council of New Zealand has been promoting inter-cultural exchanges in arts, culture and heritage. Celebrating Hindu festivals such as Deepawali and Holi on a wider community scale is part of sharing culture.
A number of pre-events were organised to promote the Rotorua Deepawali Festival. Workshops such as “Indian Art for Kids” and a Rangoli (traditional Hindu art) workshop for adults were held at the Rotorua Arts Village on 27 August 2011 and 17 September 2011, respectively. An essay-writing competition for young writers on the topic ‘Women Empowerment and Society” was held as well, for which the winners will be announced during the Festival on 1st October.
In association with the Rotorua Public Library, a display on the theme of Hindu culture was set up on 12 September 2011. The exhibition will continue at the Rotorua Library till 2 October 2011.
Mr Sailesh Patel, President of the Hindu Council of New Zealand (Northern Region), said: “this year’s focus is Empowering Women, and Rotorua Deepawali Festival 2011 has been planned and organised by women. Young women diaspora from India, Nepal and Fiji, and from New Zealand are leading the organising committee.”
Last year, more than 4000 people from both Rotorua and out of town attended this unique smoke-free, alcohol-free and meat-free family event which is free and open to all. As in previous years, people will come from Auckland, Hamilton, Taupo, Tauranga, Whakatane, Taumarunui and Wellington.
“Rotorua Deepawali Festival is growing from strength to strength. More and more community groups are participating in the festival. Our aim of making it a role model community festival by 2015 is within reach,” said Dr Guna Magesan, General Secretary of the Hindu Council of New Zealand.
“In addition to the international artists participating this year, two representatives from Malaysian Hindu Sangam will visit us to study our festival organisation. This is a big success for our festival volunteers and the organising committee,” Dr Magesan added.
“All tickets for the evening cultural show have been booked out and more than 200 people are on the waiting list. We have requested some of the dance groups and the international artists to consider an extra performance during the day time so that people who have missed out the evening show tickets are not totally disappointed.
“In addition to the cultural performances, we have organised a number of workshops such as yoga for women’s health, Indian cooking, kite-making and arts for kids, meditation, contemporary dancing, saree tying etc. There will be food and commercial stalls selling vegetarian food, spices, clothing, jewellery, and handicrafts.”
The festival will finish with a spectacular fireworks show for the Rotorua public at 9.15pm.
Once again Hindu Council is organising Marae stay for people from outside Rotorua to allow them to experience and learn about Maori culture and tradition. A special powhiri has been organised at the Apumoana Marae for the out of town visitors.
The festival is sponsored by a number of charitable organisations, supported by several government agencies, businesses and community organisations, and promoted by print and electronic media. We thank everyone.
Hindu Council of New Zealand Committee welcomes volunteers genuinely interested in promoting Rotorua Deepawali Festival in the spirit of community well-being on the principle of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” (World is one family).
For more information, please contact:
Dr Guna Magesan
021 034 5621