Today, we celebrated Diwali at our Manukau campus. Staff and students worked together to organise the event, which included decorating the campus, wearing traditional Indian outfits, making rangoli, preparing authentic Indian food and sweets, and dancing and singing.
The programme kicked off with a Mihi whakatau or a welcome speech by Warren, who thanked everyone for joining the celebrations. He also thanked the organising committee of students for their extraordinary efforts to make it a grand success. This was followed by a welcome dance, performed by a group of students.
Kavi Sewdayal, Sales and Marketing Manager, along with the guests of honor Ranbir Saini of New Zealand Sikh Women's Association, and Vinita Rhodes, a student from the organising committee, then lit the lamp and performed aarti, a Hindu religious ritual of worship.
Kavi shared with students and staff the significance of Diwali and the story of Ramayana, the sacred Hindu mythological book worshipped by Indians on the day of Diwali. He also shared the reason why Diwali is called the festival of lights.
“People lit earthen lamps also known as diyas on this day, which is the darkest night of the year, to mark the victory of good over evil and light over darkness,” he said.
Students performed a cultural dance that was enjoyed by everyone. Next, Vinita shared the cultural significance and activities that Indians indulge in, on the day of Diwali, which was followed by the bursting of crackers and sparkling fountains, a customary ritual practiced by all Hindus on Diwali.
Students and staff were treated to authentic Indian snacks and lunch. Check out the photos and videos from the event here.